Banking operations across the country could be affected on Monday and Tuesday as the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) called for a nationwide strike to protest against the proposed privatization of two state-owned lenders.
The four-day strike (13–16 March) comes nearly a month after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget, announced the privatization of two public sector banks (PSBs) under the government’s disinvestment plan.
However, ATMs may continue to function normally.
It is reported here that in the next two days, citizens may have to face difficulties in completing the work related to the bank.
Services like deposit and withdrawal in branches, opening of new accounts, check clearance and loan acceptance can be affected due to the strike.
UFBU, an umbrella body of nine unions, said in a statement, about 10 lakh employees and officers of the bank will participate in the strike.
Several public sector lenders, including the State Bank of India (SBI), have informed their customers that their normal functioning may be affected in branches and offices if the strike improves. However, SBI said that it has arranged normal functioning in all its branches and offices.
Banks also informed that they are taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of bank branches and offices.
The government has already privatized IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in LIC in 2019 and merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years. On March 4, 9 and 10, before the Additional Chief Labor Commissioner – the meeting did not yield any positive result, hence the strike stands, All India Bank Employees Union (AIBEA) General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said.
UFBU members include All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees of India (BEFI). . Others are the National Bank Employees Federation of India (INBEF), the Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), the National Organization of Bank Workers (NOBW) and the National Organization of Bank Officers (NOBO).
About a third of banking services are expected to be common in the services of private banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank.