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Bank employees' strike to hit SBI services on March 15, 16

Rai Vinaykumar     March 9, 2021

The working of State Bank of India (SBI) is likely to be affected on March 15 and 16 as bank employees' unions have called for a nationwide strike on these days.

"...we have been advised by Indian Banks Association (IBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU)... has given a call for all India strike by bank employees on 15th & 16th March, 2021," SBI said in an exchange filing.

While the country's largest lender has made all the arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that the work in the bank may be impacted by the strike, it said, adding that the expected loss because of the strike cannot be quantified now.

Also read: Bank strike, holidays in March 2021: Banks to remain closed for 12 days; check dates

UFBU comprises of nine major 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).

The strike has been called to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned banks by the Centre.

In this year's Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that two public sector banks (PSBs) will be privatised along with one general insurance company.

"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," she had said in her Budget speech.

The government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore for financial year 2021-22.

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