Bank Strike on 16 and 17 December: List of Banks which are closed
New Delhi, Dec 16: Bank Unions have called for a two-day nationwide strike from December 16 to protest against the government's plan to privatise public sector banks.
The strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, including the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
In view of the strike, banking services in State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Bank and UCO Bank likely to be be affected on December 16 and December 17.
"Furthermore, considering the ongoing pandemic situation, resorting to a strike will cause great inconvenience to the stakeholders," the SBI tweet said. The national bank also requested staff members to reconsider and refrain from participating in the strike "in the interest of our customers, investors, and the Bank".
However, it said in the likelihood of services being interrupted, it asked customers to carry out transactions in advance.
Why are Bank Unions protesting?
The Bank Unions are miffed at the government intent to take up the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs). In the Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that two public sector banks will be privatised during the current 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.
The protesting employees want an assurance from the government that the Bank Privatisation Bill (Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2021) will not be tabled during winter session of the Parliament.
The Bill proposes to "effect amendments in Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Acts, 1970 and 1980 and incidental amendments to Banking Regulation Act, 1949 in the context of Union Budget announcement 2021 regarding privatisation of two public sector banks", according to the list of legislative business for the winter session of Parliament.
They beleive that privatisation of PSBs will lead to the closure of bank branches in rural and backward regions.