Around a million bank employees across India are on a two-day strike starting today, 15 March. The move is in protest against the central government’s decision to privatise two public sector banks.
The strike began at 6 am on Monday, and will continue till Tuesday, 16 March.
In the last four years, 14 public sector banks have been merged by the government. In 2019, it also privatised IDBI Bank after a majority of its shares were sold to Life Insurance Corporation, told sources.
Due to the nationwide strike that has been spearheaded by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), several services are expected to be affected.
ATM services of the banks are expected to work normally. However, customers might not be able to withdraw money from the branch due to the strike. Cheque clearance services might also be hit today and tomorrow.
The strike may also affect loan approvals, although several banks have ensured that arrangements have been made for their smooth functioning.
Many public sector banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI), have informed their customers that their normal functioning may be affected at the branches and offices if the strike materialises.
However, services of private banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank which account for about one-third of the banking services — are expected to remain normal, reported India Today.
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and the Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF) are taking part in the strike.