The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has called for a two-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks and retrograde banking reforms.
Over 10 lakh bank employees and officers have participated in the strike.
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) will take part in the strike called by the UFBU.
According to reports, services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance, and loan approvals would be affected due to the strike. However, ATMs are likely to remain functional.
Banks were already closed on March 13 (second Saturday) and March 14 (Sunday), leading to a four-day break in regular banking operations.
The strike comes after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget announcement where she announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (apart from IDBI Bank) as part of the government's disinvestment drive to generate Rs. 1.75 lakh crore.
Apart from bank unions, all the unions in four General Insurance Companies will be on strike on March 17. All the unions in LIC are on strike on March 18, while unions of four insurance companies have called for a strike against the privatisation of public companies.