The two-day nationwide bank strike continued on Tuesday, led by nine unions of public sector banks (PSBs) in the country, opposing government’s decision to privatise lenders.
As a result, a pause in basic banking services like cash withdrawals, deposits, cheque clearances, remittance services affected the customers. Government transactions related to treasury as well as business transactions were also affected.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget speech for 2021-22 said the government will privatise two more public sector banks going forward.
United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, had given a strike call for March 15 and 16.
Unions on Monday said nearly 10 lakh staffers across the country have participated in the strike, terming it a “success”.
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. An overwhelming majority of the bank branches remain closed and shutters are down,” he added.
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).
Apart from the bank unions, all four General Insurance Companies have decided to go on strike on March 17 and life insurance companies will go on strike on March 18.
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.