Key services hit as bank employees start 2-day strike

Chennai: Important banking services faced a jolt as the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has called for a two-day nationwide strike today and tomorrow against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks and retrograde banking reforms.

Over 10 lakh bank employees and officers have taken part in the strike, it is said. Banks were already closed on 13 March (second Saturday) and 14 March (Sunday).

All nine banks unions – All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) are taking part in the strike called by the UFBU.

Sources said services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance, and loan approvals are affected due to the strike. However, ATMs continue to remain functional.

Meanwhile, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, in an interview to PTI, cast doubt on the successful privatisation of inefficient public sector banks and added that if they are sold to corporates, that will be a colossal mistake.

“I think it would be a colossal mistake to sell the banks to industrial houses,” he said and added that it will also be politically infeasible to sell any decent-sized bank to foreign banks.