Business News/ Industry / Banking/  Bank strike: 60,000 employees go on 2-day strike in Maharashtra. 4 points

Maharashtra will see a major hit in banking services on Thursday and Friday as close to 60,000 bank employees from various Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have started a two-day nationwide strike. The bank strike is against the government's decision to privatize two more state-run banks. Approximately 5,000 bank employees will demonstrate at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Thursday.

Here's all you need to know about bank strikes:

Why bank employees are going on strike?

The bank employees are protesting against the government's decision to privatise two public sector lenders. In the Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced to raise 1.75 lakh crore through disinvestment. Modi government will raise this amount through privatization of several government firms as well as some banks. Bank employees' unions are opposing the government's proposed move to privatize two public sector banks.

Which banks are on strike?

The two-day strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW). Unions claimed that about nine lakh employees of state-run banks are observing strikes across the country.

Apart from public sector banks, some employees from old-generation private sector banks and regional rural banks are also on strike. Employee unions from Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) employees are also extending support to the strike.

Bank unions have decided to go on strike despite various public sector banks, including State Bank of India, Canara Bank, UCO Bank, Central Bank of India, urging them to withdraw the proposed strike.

Impact of bank strike on services

Services like cash withdrawals to deposits, business transactions, loan process, cheque clearing, account opening, and business transactions will be affected on Thursday and Friday due to a bank strike.

How many banks Modi government has privatized?

The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019. Last year, the Centre consolidated 10 public sector banks into four and as a result, the total number of PSBs came down to 12 from 27 in March 2017. The government has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years. The Centre merged: (1) PNB + Oriental Bank of Commerce + United Bank, (2) Canara Bank + Syndicate Bank, (3) Union Bank + Andhra Bank + Corporation Bank, and (4) Indian Bank + Allahabad Bank.

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Updated: 16 Dec 2021, 11:57 AM IST
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