Money & Banking

Bank strike: Will it affect PSU banking operations?

NARAYANAN V | Updated on October 18, 2019 Published on October 18, 2019

The strike call was primarily issued to protest against the decision to merge ten public sector banks into four.

Chennai, October 18

Bank operations of public sector banks could be affected next Tuesday due to a nation-wide strike call made by two trade unions of bank employees to protest against the mega-merger of public sector banks.

All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have called for the bank strike. It received support from the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) recently.

“We note that All India Bank Employees Association and Bank Employees Federation of India have jointly given the call for all India bank strike on October 22, against the recent decision of the government to merge 10 public sector banks into four banks thus, deciding to close down six important nationalised banks,” an AITUC statement said.

Read also: AIBEA and BEFI plan strike on Oct 22

In a regulatory filing, Indian bank on Thursday said, “If the strike materialises, a section of the bank's employees may take part in the proposed strike on the said date, in which case, the normal functioning of the branches/offices of the bank may get affected.”

Punjab & Sind bank also issued a similar statement and added that, “The Bank is taking all necessary steps in terms of the existing guidelines to deal with the strike and for the smooth functioning of bank's branches/offices.”

Bank of Baroda which absorbed Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank in the previous round of PSU merger, also informed the exchanges that its operations may be paralysed.

“The Bank is taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of bank's branches/offices on the day of strike, in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches / offices may be affected/paralysed,” the bank informed the exchanges.

In its exchange filing, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said the membership of its bank employees in unions participating in the strike is very few, and the impact of the strike on the banks’ operation will be minimal.

Last month, four unions of public sector bank officers - the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), the Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and the National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) had called for a strike opposing the merger of banks. However, the strike was later deferred after Union Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar assured the unions the government would look into their demands.

Among other demands, the strike call was primarily issued to protest the Centre' decision to merge 10-public sector banks into four. According to the mega consolidation plan, Punjab National Bank will be merged with United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce; Syndicate Bank with Canara Bank; Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank, and Andhra Bank with Corporation Bank and Union Bank of India.

Published on October 18, 2019
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