Public sector banks unions are planning a strike on October 22 (Tuesday) over merger of public sector banks. The bodies that have called the strike are All India Bank Employee Association (AIBEA), the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI)and the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).
"In the event, the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches may be affected or paralysed," Bank of Baroda told the stock exchanges. With around 9,500 branches all over India, BoB is India's third-largest bank after State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank.
SBI has said the impact of the strike would be minimal. "The membership of our bank employees in unions participating in the strike is very few, so the impact of the strike on bank's operation will be minimal," SBI told the stock exchanges, adding the impact due to the strike could not be assessed right now.
"This is to inform that All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) have given a call for one day strike on 22.10.2019 in support of their various demands and issues. The above strike is at the industry level and not at bank-level issue," Bank of Maharashtra told the stock exchanges.
AITUC in a statement has termed the government's decision to merge 10 public sector banks into four "unfortunate" and totally "unwarranted".
Besides, the merger issue, the bank unions are protesting for banking reforms, recovery of bad loans, action against defaulters. Their other demands include no harassment of customers with penal charges, no hike in service charges and increase in deposit rates.
On August 30, the central government announced a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four as part of plans to create fewer and stronger global-sized lenders as the government looked to boost economic growth from a five-year low.
The four mergers were PNB (Punjab National Bank) with smaller peers Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India to create the nation's second-largest lender, Syndicate Bank merger with Canara Bank, Union Bank of India with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, and Indian Bank with Allahabad Bank.
Edited by Manoj Sharma