Services at state-owned banks may be hit across the country with the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine groups, calling a two-day strike from March 15 to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned lenders.
Services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals would be affected due to the strike.
"About 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike," All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam has said. AIBEA is part of the United Forum of Bank Unions.
Services of SBI, Canara Bank branch may be hit
State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank and other banks have informed their customers they were taking steps for the smooth functioning of bank branches and offices on the days of the proposed strike.
Presenting the Budget on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government's disinvestment plan.
The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years.
Why are they protesting?
The employee unions fear that the move to privatise PSU banks will lead to job losses. The two sides also held talks but failed to find common ground. with bank unions insisting that the government rollback the privatisation proposal.
Conciliation meetings - before the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner on March 4, 9 and 10 - did not yield any positive result, so the strike stands, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.Who are participating in the strike?
Members of UFBU include AIBEA, All India Bank Officers' Confederation, National Confederation of Bank Employees, All India Bank Officers' Association and the Bank Employees Confederation of India (BEFI). The Indian National Bank Employees Federation, Indian National Bank Officers Congress, National Organisation of Bank Workers and the National Organisation of Bank Officers will also join the strike.