Nationwide Bank Strike Enters Day 2 Unions Warn Of Stir Similar To Farmers

Nationwide bank strike enters day 2; unions warn of stir similar to farmers’

Bank Strike
Image Source : PTI

Employees of Allahabad Bank stage a protest during a two-day nationwide banks strike against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks and retrograde banking reforms in Patna on Monday.

The two-day bank strike led by nine unions of public sector banks (PSBs) in the country has severely affected the banking operations. Customers are facing inconvenience in parts of the country due to the strike called against the Centre’s policy to privatise the lenders. 

The strike has affected services like cash withdrawals, deposits, cheque clearances, remittance services. Government transactions related to treasury as well as business transactions have also been impacted. 

The national strike called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) said that the strike may take a form similar to the farmers’ protests against the agri reforms since November last year. The UFBU had given a strike call for March 15 and 16. Members of UFBU 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 Confederation of India (BEFI). Others are the Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).

Unions on Monday said nearly 10 lakh staffers across the country have participated in the strike, terming it a “success”.

READ MORE: Bank Strike: Nationwide strike impacts banking services of PSU banks on day 1

The nationwide strike comes in the backdrop of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement in her Budget 2021-22 speech that the government will privatise two more public sector banks. The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019, and has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years. 

“As per the call, employees and officers joined the strike and the strike was a total success. Normal banking services were affected because of the strike,” CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA said. 

“Today (Tuesday) too, as per reports received by us from our unions in various states, the strike has been successful. Overwhelming majority of the bank branches remain closed and shutters are down,” he added.

He said the young employees have been in the forefront in the protest demonstrations which means that they have understood the dangers of privatisation. They have joined the banks after a very tough competition. They deserve job security which will be affected if banks are privatised. He said banks are in profit and there is no need to privatise them. All the public sector banks are running well and are earning operating profits, he noted.

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