Banking services across the country are likely to be hit as Central trade unions have called for a strike on January 8 (Wednesday). The nation-wide strike is set to witness lakhs of people from across the country in participation. Several bank unions are also slated to join the all-India general strike which has been called to protest against the Narendra Modi government's recent banking reforms and labour policies. The unions are also demanding a salary hike and other benefits from the Central government through their strike.
Informing the customers about the strike, the State Bank of India, in a release has said the strike is set to have minimal impact on its operations. According to the State Bank of India, very few SBI employees will be a part of the six bank unions participating in the strike.
Meanwhile, Bank of Baroda fears that its operations could be hit. If reports are to be believed, several banks will see a disruption in services amid the strike. Branches of various banks are also likely to be shut due to the strike, as per the order by the bank unions.
Bharat Bandh 2020: Banking services to be hit
According to a circular by the Indian Bank's Association, the unions that would be a part of the strike are - The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC) and Bank Karmachari Sena Mahasangh (BKSM) are the unions that will go on strike next week.
ATM services at some places are also likely to be impacted. However, net banking is expected to function normally as NEFT online transfers now available 24x7.
Syndicate Bank has said it is taking requisite measures for the smooth functioning of its branches on the day of the strike.
"Bank has received notice served by... on the proposed strike on January 8, 2020," the public-sector lender said in a regulatory filing on Saturday.
"The bank is taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of the bank's branches/offices on the day of the proposed strike. However, in the event the strike materialises the functioning of the branches/offices may be impacted by the strike," it said.
Bharat Bandh 2020: What are the demands?
The unions are basically protesting against the Central government's economic policies and recent banking reforms. Some of the other demands put forward by the unions include a raise in the minimum wage to Rs 21,000-Rs 24,000 per month; stopping the privatisation of public sector undertakings; and repealing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) said that labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar invited the leaders of the central trade unions on January 2 and has informed the unions that the government has been taking all steps for the welfare of the workers.
The unions are also protesting against the proposed merger of 10 PSU bank to create four entities as announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in August 2018.
Bharat Bandh 2020: Who all will join protests?
The all-India general strike called by the central trade unions on January 8 is expected to draw lakhs of workers from across the country, including government employees, bank employees - central, cooperative, regional rural and the Life Insurance Corporation of India belonging to bank unions, teachers and workers from various sectors such as steel and railways.