Banking services were partially hit on Monday due to Bharat bandh and the bank strike. A section of employees did not report for duty today in support of the two-day nationwide general strike called by central trade unions, according to a PTI report.
The bank strike is scheduled to continue tomorrow.
Transactions at many public sector banks have been impacted as employees have not reported for duty. Besides, there might be a delay in cheque clearances and government treasury operation might also be affected by the strike.
The impact of the strike is prominent in eastern India as many branches of public sector banks there are closed, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said.
In the other regions, branches are open as officers are present but services are being impacted due to many employees participating in the strike, he said.
However, there was hardly any impact on the functioning of private sector banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and others, according to the PTI report.
WHY BANK STRIKE, BHARAT BANDH?
- Bank unions are protesting against the government’s move to privatise two public sector banks as announced in Budget 2021-22. They are also demanding an increase in interest rate on deposits and reduction in service charges.
- Besides AIBEA, Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) and All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) are also part of the two-day strike call given by the joint forum of central trade unions and various sectoral independent trade unions to protest against government’s anti-people economic policies and anti-worker labour policies, according to the PTI report.
- All Indian Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), among others are demanding scrapping of the proposed changes in labour laws and privatisation in any form.
- Increased allocation of wages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and regularisation of contract workers are also part of their demands.
STATE BANK OF INDIA
Most of the banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), had informed their customers about the proposed strike and the likely impact on the services in advance.
“We have been advised by the lndian Banks’Association (lBA) that All lndia Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), Bank Employees Federation of lndia (BEFI) and All lndia Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) have served a Notice, informing their decision to go on a nationwide Bank Strike on 28th & 29th March, 2022,” SBI said in a BSE filing.
“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 to a limited extent, by the Strike,” SBI said in a statement.