LIC employees hold ‘walk out’ from offices to protest stake sale

Members of All India Insurance Employees Association stage a demonstration against govt's decision, in Chennai, on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

A few days after Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government will sell a part of its stake through an initial public offering (IPO), various employees’ unions of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) staged protests against the move on Tuesday (February 4).

All the three major trade unions of LIC staged an hour-long walk-out at all the offices across the country.

In Chennai, members of the All India Insurance Employees Association staged a demonstration outside southern regional headquarters of the LIC. On Monday, several employees of the LIC staged a demonstration outside their office in Tripura and announced a one-hour protest walk out, on Tuesday.

They also threatened that in the coming days they shall launch a nationwide agitation and compel the Centre to withdraw its decision from ‘pushing towards privatisation.’

The joint forum of LIC’s (three) major trade unions comprise the Federation of LIC Class-I Officers’ Associations, National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India, and the All India Insurance Employees Association.

During the Union Budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government, which holds 100 per cent stake in LIC, will sell a part of its holding through an IPO.

According to reports, the three trade unions represent around 90 per cent of the life insurer’s total workforce. LIC had 2.85 lakh employees as of March-end 2019. Listing of LIC is against national interest as over the years it has been playing a pivotal role in nation-building activities, it said.

“Being one of the biggest financial institutions of the country, any move to privatise LIC will shake the confidence of the common man and will be an affront to our financial sovereignty. The very purpose of LIC to provide insurance coverage to socially and economically backward class at a reasonable cost will be defeated and motto will change from service to profit,” BT quoted the statement.

Earlier, Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said the listing of LIC would help bring in greater transparency, public participation and also deepen the equity market.

(With inputs from agencies)

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