Banking services are likely to be hit next week as two bank unions have threatened to go on a 24-hour strike on October 22 in protest against the recently announced bank mergers, falling deposit rates and outsourcing of jobs, news agency IANS reported.
All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have notified the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) that they will go on strike from 6 am on October 22 to 6 am on October 23.
The unions said they are opposed to outsourcing of regular banking jobs and privatisation of the banking industry. They called for an increase in recruitment of clerical and sub-staff and stringent steps to recover mounting bad loans.
While State Bank of India (SBI) said the strike would not impact its services much as many of its employees are not members of the participating unions, other banks like Bank of Maharashtra and Syndicate Bank have expressed concern.
“The membership of our bank employees in unions participating in the strike is very few, so the impact of strike on our operation will be minimal,” IANS quoted SBI saying in a notice. However, it cannot quantify the loss from the proposed strike at present, it said.
Syndicate Bank said that necessary steps are being taken for the hassle-free functioning of branches on the stipulated day. “However in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches/offices may be impacted,” it said in a notice to stock exchanges.
Bank of Baroda, in a notice to the exchanges, said, “The Bank is taking necessary steps for smooth functioning of bank’s branches on the day of strike, in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches may be affected/paralysed.”
Last month, the officers’ unions had also called a two-day bank strike across India on September 26 and 17. However, it was later withdrawn after government intervention.