Nationwide bank strike impacts services on day 2

Government transactions related to the treasury as well as business transactions impacted

New Delhi, March 16  

Bank strike continued for day-two on Tuesday, led by nine unions of public sector banks (PSBs) in the country, opposing the government's policy to privatise the lenders.

Customers faced inconvenienced to get services such as cash withdrawals, deposits, cheque clearances, remittance services. Government transactions related to the treasury as well as business transactions were also impacted. 

United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, had given a strike call for March 15 and 16.

Members of UFBU include 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).

Others are the 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).

Unions on Monday said nearly 10 lakh staffers across the country have participated in the strike, terming it a "success".

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget speech for 2021-22 said the government will privatise two more public sector banks going forward.

The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years. 

As per the call, on Monday, employees and officers joined the strike and the strike was a “total success”. Normal banking services were affected because of the strike, C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA said. 

“Today (Tuesday) too, as per reports received by us from our unions in various states, the strike has been successful. Overwhelming majority of the bank branches remain closed and shutters are down," he added.

He said the young employees have been at the forefront in the protest demonstrations which means that they have understood the dangers of privatisation. 

They have joined the banks after a very tough competition. They deserve job security which will be affected if banks are privatised. He said banks are in profit and there is no need to privatise them.

All the public sector banks are running well and are earning operating profits, he noted. PTI 

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