Two-day strike from tomorrow; banking services to be hit

Banking operations in the city will come to a grinding halt on July 12 and 13 as a section of public sector bank employees have threatened to go on a nationwide strike to protest against the proposed merger of SBI associates and privatisation of IDBI Bank.

All India Bank Officers’ Association and State Sector Bank Employees’ Association will also participate in the strike. The strike would be observed by five SBI associate banks on July 12, followed by other public sector banks next day on July 13.

Many banks including Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and State Bank of Mysore have already informed that if strike materialised it could lead to inconvenience to their customers. In the event of the strike taking place, the normal banking operations may get affected on both days.

Services like cheque clearances, cash deposit and withdrawal at bank branches and other facilities would be affected. Unions have explained the issues involved in strike notice in detail as to why the proposed closure of Associate Banks and their merger with SBI, proposed privatisation of IDBI Bank and so on were unwarranted. They also said banks should accord top priority for recovering bad loans.

A meeting that was convened by the Chief Labour Commissioner in New Delhi to stall the nation-wide protest through conciliation talks has failed. It was attended by the representatives of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) and State Sector Bank Employees’ Association (SSBEA), Department of Financial Services, Indian Banks Association and executives from five Associate banks.

AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said: “On the first day, the strike will be observed by the employees of Associate Banks and on the second day 45,000 employees of all banks will take part in the strike. It is a nation-wide strike call.”

“We were ready to defer the strike, if the proposed merger of Associate Banks with SBI and the proposed privatisation of IDBI Bank were put on hold and discussions were held on all the issues. However, there was no positive response from their side. “Hence, we call upon our members to go ahead with the strike programme,” he said. Agencies 

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