If the two-days strategically announced strike on Thursday and Friday called by the cluster of four bank unions becomes successful next week then most bank branches in India would be closed for four consecutive days from September 26 to 29. On September 28 banks will be closed too as it is the fourth Saturday of the month. Sunday is anyways a weekly bank holiday.

Four unions of officers of public sector banks- All Indian Banks’ Association that All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC) and National Organization of Bank Officers (NOBO) have served a notice of strike informing that the members of 4 Officers Trade Union Organizations as stated above, propose to go on strike from Midnight of 25 September 2019 to Midnight of 27 September 2019 to protest against the merger of 10 state-run banks into four bigger PSU units.

The four-day-long bank holiday is likely to affect banking operations next week as most branches could be open only for three days in the entire week. September 30, a Monday, could be the next working day after September 25.

It is not just cheque clearances but ATM services too might get affected as a result of the bank strike followed by two consecutive weekly offs.

Since the two-day bank strike is not a bank holiday, internet banking and online RTGS/NEFT/IMPS/UPI transfers are likely to remain available on next Thursday and Friday. NEFT and RTGS services are available only from 8 am to 7 pm on all working days, except the second and the fourth Saturday of the month.

However, once the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement System) payments system become a 24×7 operations from December, bank customers will face less inconvenience on instances such bank strikes and long bank holidays.

To oppose the “merger and amalgamations in the banking sector” and raise demands of a salary hike, the four unions have also threatened to go on an indefinite strike from November.

In the meantime, two other bank employees unions – All India bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have announced another one-day strike on October 22 against the merger of banks.

(With input from agencies)