Banks on strike for two days – here’s all you need to know
On Monday, 15th March, the two-day strike of banks has begun to oppose the privatization of government banks and retrograde banking reforms. This strike was called by the United Forum of Bank Union.
A total of nine bank unions are in on this nationwide two-day strike and over 10 lakh bank employees are expected to participate in this strike.
The unions participating in the strike are 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).
Since banks were already closed on 13th and 14th March (Saturday and Sunday), Bank operations will be halted for a total of four days.
Private banks are not part of this strike, so branches of private-sector lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank will stay open. Only the aforementioned banks will be closed.
During this strike, services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance, and loan approvals would mainly be affected. Other services that don’t involve a bank’s human resources, such as ATMs will remain functional.
During last month’s budget, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the privatization of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government’s disinvestment plan. In 2019, the government privatized IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake to LIC and over the course of four years has merged 14 public sector banks. The strike is opposing this proposal.
During the conciliation meetings between the union leaders and government, on 4th, 9th, and 10th March, there was no positive result, thus the decision to strike still stands.
Apart from it, on 17th March, all the unions in four General Insurance Companies will be on strike against the privatization of public companies. And on 18th March, all the unions in LIC are on strike.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) is also having a ‘peaceful’ sit-in at the railway station in Gurugram to protest against privatization, increased prices of petrol, diesel, and domestic gas.
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