With the call of a nationwide strike by central trade unions on Thursday, banking operations could be hit. The strike, to be observed by ten central trade unions except Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, will also be joined by some bank unions. The unions will be protesting against various policies of the central government, demanding a cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for all non-income tax paying families and 10 kg free ration per person per month to all needy. They have also put forth their demand for expansion of MGNREGA to provide 200 days' work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages along with extension of the employment guarantee to urban areas.
Meanwhile, bank operations are likely to take a hit as the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) are participating in the strike.
"Lok Sabha in its recently held session passed three new labour enactments by dismantling existing 27 enactments in the name of 'Ease of Buisness', which are purely in the interest of corporates. "In the process, 75 per cent of workers are being pushed out of the orbits of labour laws since they will have no legal protection under the new enactment," the AIBEA wrote in a release.
The AIBEA represents the majority of the banks, except State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Overseas Bank. It has four lakh bank employees from various public and private sectors are a few foreign banks as its members.
The Bank of Maharashtra said the normal functioning of the bank branches and offices is expected to be affected if the strike materialises.
"If strike materialises, the normal functioning of the bank branches and offices is likely to be affected. The bank is taking all necessary steps to minimise the impact of strike so as to provide the normal banking services to its customers," the Bank of Maharashtra said in a filing.
Meanwhile, auto and taxi drivers have also decided to keep off the roads in many states. Scheme workers, domestic workers, construction workers, beedi workers, hawkers, vendors, agricultural workers, self-employed in rural and urban areas have also decided to come on to the streets for 'chakka jam'.
The federations of railway and defence employees have decided to have large mobilisation on the day to express their solidarity with the strike and the demands of the unions.