Bank Strike on August 22, Services to be Hit
New Delhi, August 21: Banking services at all nationalized banks may take a hit on Tuesday as the Bank unions have called for a nationwide strike on August 22. After talks with the Central government regarding proposed reforms failed, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has now given the call for the strike on August 22 where people are believed to protest against the government’s move of consolidation besides a host of other demands. It has been reported that most banks have informed their customers that services are likely to bit hit as banks would press their demands to stop privatisation of public sector banks. The strike would potentially be affecting banking services like cheque clearances, cash deposits, and withdrawal at branches and other facilities.
The UFBU in the statement said that nearly 10 lakh employees and officers of various banks all over the country would observe the strike. The decision of a nationwide protest was taken to express solidarity with the nationwide strike call given by the confederation to protest the anti-people policies of the government. Dilip Singh Chauhan, General Secretary of the Bank of India Officers Association, said an umbrella group named United Forum of Bank Unions had been formed for Tuesday’s protests.
Following the conciliation meeting convened on Friday by Chief Labour Commissioner AK Nayak, Bank Unions have decided to go ahead with a nationwide strike. “We wanted an assurance that the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister will give a statement that there will be no privatisation of banks and no mergers of public sector banks. As no such assurance came at today’s conciliation meeting, we have decided to go ahead with the August 22 strike,” CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) was quoted by Business Line.
“As the conciliation meeting with before the chief labour commissioner failed, unions are left with no other option but to go on strike. There was no assurance from the government and the management of banks,” AIBOC general secretary DT Franco said. Franco further added all attempts to find solutions to the demands raised by the unions bore no fruit and hence, UFBU decided to proceed with the proposed strike on August 22.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is an umbrella organisation that includes employees of nine bank and officers unions representing 8 lakh staffers. It also includes the All India Bank Officer’s Confederation (AIBOC) and All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA). Reports stated that banking operations at private lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are believed to be normal. The other demands of the bank unions that have been pending for a long time include no write-off policy for non- performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring a willful default of loans as criminal offense and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on the recovery of NPAs.