As 9 lakh state bank employees participate in this two-day strike from today against the government’s move to privatize 2 sector lenders, several Bank services remain affected.
Although banking activities on mobile and the internet will remain uninterrupted, many branches across different parts of the country will remain shut. ATM services are also going to be affected during bank strikes.
The strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organization of bank unions including AIBOC, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW). The union is represented by the National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), and National Organisation Of Bank Workers (NOBW), and the officers’ organizations is being represented by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
In the Union Budget of 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatization of 2 public sector Banks as a part of as part of the government’s Rs 1.75 lakh crore disinvestment target. The Bill proposes to “effect amendments in Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Acts, 1970 and 1980 and incidental amendments to Banking Regulation Act, 1949 in the context of Union Budget announcement 2021 regarding privatization of two public sector banks”, according to the list of legislative business for the winter session of Parliament.
The protesting employees want assurance from the government that the Bank Privatisation Bill (Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2021) will not be tabled during the winter session of the Parliament. The privatization of PSBs will lead to the closure of bank branches in rural and backward regions.
Earlier this week, various PSBs including the State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank, PNB, Punjab, and Sind Bank, had urged unions to reconsider their decision to go on the two-day nationwide strike and had invited them for further discussions.SBI in its earlier tweet asked its employees to refrain from participating in the strike. “Furthermore, considering the ongoing pandemic situation, resorting to a strike will cause great inconvenience to the stakeholders,” the tweet said.
Sanjay Das, general secretary of All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), told news agency PTI that besides the two-day strike, a series of other agitation programs will be held if the government does not give up the idea of privatization of the banks.
Central Bank of India earlier mentioned that it is taking all necessary steps in terms of the existing guidelines to deal with the strike and for the smooth functioning of its branches and offices.