United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has called for a two-day bank strike starting from tomorrow i.e March 15. UFBU has called for the strike in order to protest against the Centre's proposed privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs).
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said, "About 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike".
Since the employees of many banks will be on strike, services are bound to be affected. Most banks such as State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, among others, have already informed their customers about the bank strike and the impact it can have on the functioning of offices and branches of these banks.
Banks have said they are making all the necessary arrangements to ensure the smooth running of bank offices and branches on the days of the proposed two-day bank strike.
Who is participating in the two-day bank strike?
All nine members of the UFBU are expected to take part in the two-day bank strike. These are All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Confederation 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).
Why has the two-day bank strike been called?
On February 1, 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget in which she announced the privatisation of two public sector banks as part of the Centre's larger disinvestment plan.
The Centre was already on a path of privatisation of PSBs as it privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the public lender to Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) in 2019. The Central government also merged 14 PSBs in just the last four years.