Banking operations are likely to be impacted next week when the bank employee unions go on strike on 22 October. The strike has been called for by the All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), backed by the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC). The protesting unions wish to draw attention to several matters, one of which is the issue of merging 10 public-sector banks into four. The unions are also raising their voice against the closure of six nationalised banks, terming this decision of the government to be rather unfortunate and unnecessary.
Bank of Baroda has already issued a statement assuring that while its operations may be affected on the day of the strike, it will definitely take all necessary steps to ensure smooth functioning on 22 October. The impact will be more on the PSU banks.
The striking unions are protesting against the merger of banks. In September too, the members of the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO), had called for a strike to express their discontentment over these issues. The strike which was to last 48 hours, starting on 26 September, was postponed following the assurance given by the Union Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar to the protestors that their demands will be given some thought.