Nationwide Banks go on 2 Day Strike to Protest Against Privatisation

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Banking services including deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance, and loan approvals would be affected across the country due to the nationwide strike of banks from today to till next two days.

The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) has called for a two-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks and retrograde banking reforms.

The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), is a body of nine bank unions which includes, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).

Over 10 lakh bank employees and officers will participate in the strike. All nine banks unions will be taking  part in the strike called by the UFBU. However, banking services of  private sector lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are open as they are not part of the strike.

Some banks, such as the State Bank of India (SBI) and Canara Bank have informed their customers that due to the strike, their normal working could be affected at the branches and offices. Banks have also informed that they are taking steps which are necessary for the smooth functioning of bank branches and offices.

All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam said that services at branch level such as cheque clearance and government transactions have been affected. Due to the strike, money markets and stock markets are also going to face problems as payments would be impacted. Nationwide strike is called to protest against privatisation of public sector banks. In the Union Budget presented last month, Finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as a part of the government’s disinvestment plan to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore. Also in the financial year 2021-2022, the government has proposed to privatise two PSBs and one general insurance company. In 2019, the government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC, and in the last four years it has merged 14 public sector banks.