The bank unions are set to hold a strike across the country today as a mark of protest against the government’s move to ‘privatise’ public sector banks. As many as 21 public sector banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI) and the IDBI Bank, are likely to see a major disruption in services.
It is expected to affect the normal workings of the public.
The call for strike was made by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions in the sector including All India Bank Officer’s Confederation (AIBOC) and All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA).
Around 10 lakh bank employees are likely to participate in the strike.
The body’s other demands include criminal action against wilful default of bank loans, implementing recommendations of parilamentary committee on recovery of the NPAs, abolishing the Banks Board Bureau, reimbursement of expenses incurred during the demonetisation and Jan Dhan campaigns, and removal of Gratuity Ceiling under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
Besides the above demands, the union also wants withdrawal of the proposed financial resolution and deposit insurance (FRDA) bill, total exemption of gratuity and leave encashment on retirement.
The body is also against passing the burden of corporate NPAs on bank customers by hiking charges.
Despite digitisation of banking services, a large number of customers are still dependent on manual bank operations.
However, the private sector banks like the ICICI Bank, the HDFC Bank, the Axis Bank and the Kotak Mahindra Bank will continue to function normally, but delays in cheque clearance can be expected.
The strike will be followed by a massive rally on September 15 by the UFBU