Banking operations were impacted across the city on Friday with state-run banks striking work in protest against the central government’s banking policies. The striking bank employees are also against the proposed merger of associate banks with SBI and banking reforms announced by the government.
The United Forum of Banks Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of nine bank employees and officers unions representing 8 lakh staffers, went ahead with the strike, affecting services like cheque clearances, cash deposit and withdrawal at branches and other facilities.
SBI and associate banks downed their shutters protesting against the merger. According to the protesters, if the banks were merged, they will lose out on seniority and will impact their salaries, promotions and perks.
While routine transactions were affected, transactions at the Automatic Teller Machines was not affected as the banks had filled up the machines to facilitate cash withdrawals following weekend. Operations at other banks including MNCs were, however, not affected.
Unions, which are protesting against FDI in the banking sector, are pressing for various demands, which include one not to privatise public sector banks and increase private capital in such banks
Earlier this month, major bank unions deferred a two-day strike call for July 12 and 13 following a restraint order by the Delhi High Court. The unions in the banking sector had given the strike call protesting against the merger of the five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI) with SBI and the privatisation of IDBI Bank.
The union is opposed to the government’s decision to merge the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), State Bank of Patiala (SBP), State Bank of Mysore (SBM) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) with the SBI.