People may have to face difficulty for the next two days as banking services, including cheque encashment and demand draft, will be affected due to a bank strike call by the All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI). Several farmers, trade and employees unions have also extended support to the strike call given by the banking associations. Major PSU banks, including Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, and Allahabad Bank, have already informed their customers that the usual banking activities may get affected due to the strike. These bank employee unions are holding the strike for a wage revision and against the merger of three public sector banks, including Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.
Today's strike is expected to affect banking operations in public sector banks only. It will be business as usual at private sector banks which are not part of the strike. Before this, the bank unions had held a strike on December 21 and December 26.
Other unions who could extend their support include the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), the National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW). All these trade unions operate under the United Forum of Bank Unions, an umbrella organisation of nine unions that claims membership of 10 lakh officers and staffers.
Bank of Baroda, in its BSE filing on Monday, said All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have served a notice of strike to the Indian Banks' Association, informing their decision to go on a nationwide strike on January 8 and 9. The Bank said that in the event of the strike call, the functioning of the bank's branches/offices in some of the zones may be affected.
IDBI Bank also said the bank has received nationwide strike notices from the India Bank Employees Association and the Bank Employees Federation of India in support of their various demands. "All AIBEA members, in which the workmen union of our bank is affiliated, has given a call for Strike on Tuesday, and Wednesday," confirmed Karur Vysya Bank. The bank said that "if the strike call materialises, the normal working may get affected at the bank".
"The bank is taking all the necessary steps in terms of the existing guidelines for smooth functioning of bank's branches on the day of the strike, in the event the strike materialises," an Allahabad Bank notification said. Meanwhile, the Centre through a notification has advised these government employees not to "resort to or in any way abet any form of strike in connection with any matter pertaining to his service or service of any other government employee". Any violation of government rules may attract disciplinary action against the employee concerned, the notification says.
Edited by Manoj Sharma