State Bank of India , whose five associate banks' unions went on a strike on Thursday seeking to delink from the parent bank, clarified that the unions are not against their merger proposals.
"The unions at the associate banks are not against merger proposals. They have not communicated to us that they are against merger. As far as we are intimated they want to be completely delinked from us," an SBI spokesman told PTI late on Thursday evening.
However, when contacted union leaders said they are also against merger as well with SBI. Unions' other demands include liberal union activities, increase in the quantum of staff housing loan and ending SBI service conditions on the associate banks.
It can be noted the employees of the five associate banks of State Bank of India went on a strike on Thursday to protest demanding a slew of things including de-linking them from SBI .
The associate banks where unions went on strike include State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.
Out of the five State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala are fully owned by SBI while in the other three it owns 75 per cent stake as they are publicly traded entities.
"We want the associate banks to be out of the ambit of the SBI Act," All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), a bank employees union, said.
The employees of associate banks said these banks are performing well now and that they should be allowed to run independently like other banks are operating.
"Our demand is that these five associate banks should be brought out of the ambit of the SBI Act and allow them to operate as any other public sector banks," the AIBEA said.
"These associate banks are performing well and SBI wants to merge them so as to expand its balance sheet. We are against any such mergers," the union leaders had said last Monday, while announcing their strike plan.
The AIBEA has also called for a nation-wide strike on June 24 to lend support to the SBI associate banks unions if the SBI management does not take a decision on their demand.
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