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  4. Bank strike today: PSU bank employees go on two-day strike; services hit at many places

Bank strike today: PSU bank employees go on two-day strike; services hit at many places

Many branches across different parts of the country were shut as the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) had given two-day strike call.

India TV Business Desk Edited by: India TV Business Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 16, 2021 11:16 IST
Bank strike today: Bank unions call for 2-day nationwide
Image Source : PTI

Bank strike today: Bank unions call for 2-day nationwide strike, banking services likely to be hit

Highlights

  • Employees of several state-owned banks including SBI will go on a two-day strike starting today
  • The strike has been called by the UFBU, AIBOC, AIBEA, NOBW
  • The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu extends support to the two-day nationwide strike called

Employees of several state-owned banks including the State Bank of India (SBI) went on a two-day strike starting today against the move to privatise public sector banks impacting normal banking operation across the country. 

Many branches across different parts of the country were shut as the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) had given two day strike call.

As a result, services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals might be affected due to the strike. But ATMs are expected to function as usual. Public sector lenders, including State Bank of India, had informed customers that services in their branches might be affected due to the strike. However, the private sector, especially new generation private sector lenders, like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, are working as usual.   

 

The unions have been protesting ever since the Centre in its Budget 2021-22 announced its intent to privatise two public sector lenders. Soumya Datta, general secretary of AIBOC, has confirmed that the union has decided to go ahead with the two-day nationwide strike. 

Nearly nine lakh employees and officers from various public sector banks (PSBs), old generation private sector banks and regional rural banks will participate in the strike. 

The strike is against the government's decision to privatise public sector banks which have been playing a vital role in nation-building, (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam told PTI.

 It is unfortunate that the working in over 1 lakh branches of the banks and regional rural banks has been impacted due to the strike due to the government's attitude, AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Dutta said. 

 "All banking services are impacted from cash withdrawals to deposits, business transactions, loan process, cheque clearing, account opening and business transactions," he said.

 

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu extended support to the two-day nationwide strike called. Party general secretary and State Minister Durai Murugan wished the strike success and announced his party's "total support" to the protest.

State Bank of India (SBI) had already warned customers about the nationwide strike's possible impact on banking operations.

“We have been advised by the Indian Banks' Association (lBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has served a Notice of Strike, informing that the members of the constituent Unions of UFBU viz. AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC propose to go on a nationwide Bank Strike on 16th & 17th December, 2021 in support of their demands. We advise that while the Bank has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike, it is likely that work in our Bank may be impacted by the strike," SBI said in an exchange filing earlier.

Stating that the strike is not in the interest of customers and investors, SBI, Canara Bank and UCO Bank, among others, urged their employees to reconsider their decision to go on strike.

"Furthermore, considering the ongoing pandemic situation, resorting to a strike will cause great inconvenience to the stakeholders," SBI said in a tweet.

The Centre is widely expected to introduce a Bill — the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill — in the Parliament’s ongoing winter session to pave the way for the privatisation of two public sector banks. This Bill is yet to officially get Cabinet approval but sources say that this may have been discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting. 

 The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and merged 14 public sector banks in the past four years. 

Meanwhile, the employees and trade unions had started a protest campaign ‘Bank Bachao, Desh Bachao’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 1. 

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