In the run-up to the two-day bank strike on March 15-16, India's largest public sector bank SBI (State Bank of India) and Bank of Maharashtra have said that their services may be affected due to the strike.In view of this, customers have been advised to plan cash withdrawals and transfers well in advance.
Both SBI and Bank of Maharashtra are taking necessary measures to ensure that services remain unaffected, they said they can't quantify the expected loss due to this strike at present.
In an exchange filing, SBI said, "...we have been advised by Indian Banks Association (IBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU)... has given a call for an all India strike by bank employees on 15th & 16th March 2021."
"If the strike materialises, the normal functioning of the Bank's branches/offices is likely to be affected. The bank is taking all necessary steps to minimise the impact of the strike so as to provide the normal banking services to its customers," Bank of Maharashtra's release read.
This two-day long strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU). The UFBU comprises nine main bank unions -- All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), 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).
Bank unions are protesting against the Centre's proposal to privatise public sector banks, among several issues. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company is on the cards.
"Other than IDBI Bank, we propose to take up privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22. This would require legislative amendments and I propose to introduce the amendments in this session itself," Sitharaman had said during her Budget 2021 address.