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Banking services to be hit on March 15, 16; about 10 lakh employees may go on strike

“About 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike,” All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam has said.

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Nationwide bank strike on Wednesday against Centre's labour reforms
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New Delhi: Banking operations across the country is likely to be affected on Monday and Tuesday, as Bank unions have called for 2-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16.

The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of 9 bank unions called for strike on Monday & Tuesday against privatisation of Public Sector Banks (PSU).

“About 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike,” All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam has said.

The bank strike comes almost a month after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the privatisation of 2 public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government’s disinvestment plan.

Who are participating in strike?

bank strike

All 9 banks unions – All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) will take part in the strike called by the UFBU.

Why the bank strike?

Government in its 2021-2022 budget announced privatisation of 2 banks apart from IDBI, as part of its disinvestment program to raise 1.75 lakh crore. Employee of these banks fear job losses from this move. The two sides held talks but failed to reach any conclusion. Banks Unions want government to take back this privatisation plan.

As part of banking reforms, the government has merged 14 public sector banks and sold a majority stake in IDBI Bank.

What will be affected?

Services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance, and loan approvals would be affected due to the strike. However, ATMs are likely to remain functional.

Banks were already closed on March 13 (second Saturday) and March 14 (Sunday), leading to a four-day break in regular banking operations. Services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals would be affected due to the strike.

Two-day bank strike

What about private banks? 

Services of private banks are expected to remain normal. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank together account for 1/3rd of banking services.

After banks, Insurance cos to strike on Mar 17, 18

Apart from bank unions, all the unions in four General Insurance Companies will be on strike on March 17. All the unions in LIC are on strike on March 18, while unions of four insurance companies have called for a strike against the privatisation of public companies.

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