Nine bank unions have called for a two-day nationwide strike to protest against the government’s policy to privatise more public sector lenders.
Around 10 lakh staffers joined te strike on day 1, which majorly impacted services across states.
However, branches of private sector lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank remained operational as usual.
Services hit in Maharashtra
Banking services in Maharashtra were affected for the second day of the pan-India bank strike as around half a lakh employees of public sector banks, old generation private sector and foreign banks did not attend work.
In Mumbai, around 86 lakh cheques/ instruments worth Rs 6,500 crore were not cleared on Monday, bank union leaders have claimed.
Here’s what happened on day 1:
* About 2 crore cheques/ instruments worth about Rs 16,500 crore were not cleared across the country.
* Many ATMs were also out of cash on the first day itself.
* The strike saw 100 per cent participation from scale I, II and III bank employees.
* As per the call, on Monday, employees and officers joined the strike and the strike was a “total success”, C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA told news agency PTI.
* As services like deposits, cash withdrawal were hit, many banks asked their customers to use their digital modes like internet and mobile banking for transactions.
* The directions came after services like cash withdrawals, cheque clearances and other business related transactions were hit in PSU banks.
Why are bank unions protesting
Bank unions are of the view that privatisation is a negative step in a developing economy like India.
Last month, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government’s disinvestment plan in the Union Budget for the next fiscal.
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.
Who all are participating
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 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).