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2-day bank strike from today: Employees of public sector banks (PSBs) including the State Bank of India (SBI) went on a two-day strike starting today against the move to privatise public sector banks impacting normal banking operation across the country. However, the private sector, especially new-generation private-sector lenders, like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, are working as usual.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which is an umbrella body of 9 bank unions has called a two-day bank strike starting today to protest the government's decision to privatise several banks in the country.

Here are 10 things to know about the 2-day bank strike:

1) Many branches across different parts of the country were shut as UFBU, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) had given two-day strike call.

2) Services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals were affected due to the strike. But ATMs are functioning as usual.

3) Close to nine lakh employees of various state-run banks are participating in the strike.

4) Bank unions have called a strike on December 16 and 17 against the proposed public sector bank privatisation.

5) The unions have been protesting ever since the Centre in its Budget 2021-22 announced its intent to privatise two public sector lenders.

6) State Bank of India (SBI) had already warned customers about the nationwide strike's possible impact on banking operations. “We have been advised by the Indian Banks' Association (lBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has served a Notice of Strike, informing that the members of the constituent Unions of UFBU viz. AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC propose to go on a nationwide Bank Strike on 16th & 17th December 2021 in support of their demands. We advise that while the Bank has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike, it is likely that work in our Bank may be impacted by the strike," SBI said in an exchange filing earlier.

7) SBI in a tweet urged its staff members to reconsider their decision and refrain from participating in the strike. "Furthermore, considering the ongoing pandemic situation, resorting to a strike will cause great inconvenience to the stakeholders," the tweet said.

8) Earlier lenders including Canara Bank, PNB, Punjab and Sind Bank, among others had urged the employee unions to reconsider their plan

9) The government has decided to introduce the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 during the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament. The bill aims to privatise public sector banks.

10) The employees and trade unions had started a protest campaign ‘Bank Bachao, Desh Bachao’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 1. 

 

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