Banking operations could be hit on October 22 owing to the proposed strike by trade union organisations, Bank of Baroda said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. In a statement, the bank, however, assured that it is taking all necessary steps for smooth functioning in bank branches on the day of strike. The strike has been called by the All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) for opposing the consolidation of 10 state-run lenders into four.
On August 30, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced four mergers of banks, a move she said would result in 12 public sector banks in the system instead of 27.
In a statement, the BEFI said the unions in the banking sector were opposed to the merger of banks. “In the prevailing situation, we had discussions with AIBEA and it has been decided that BEFI will observe countrywide bank strike jointly with AIBEA opposing merger of PSBs and banking sector reforms,” it said.
“We can easily undersatnd that mergers are a prelude to privitasiation of banks and hence we need to vehmently oppose such moves,” BEFI added.
Among other demands, the unions are also seeking adequate recruitments in banks. The organizations have also demanded stringent action for loan defaulters.
In September, a group of four bank unions, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO), had called for a strike on similar issues. Later on, the two-day strike from September 26-27 was deferred after Union Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar assured the protesting unions to look into their demands.