Bank strike: Bank employees have warned of a strike on September 26-27. The call for a two-day strike on September 26-27 from four unions of the staff of nationalised banks is to protest against the government's mega merger plan for the state-run banks announced late last month. On August 30, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced four mergers, a move she said would result in 12 public sector banks in the system instead of 27. Other demands by the unions include a revision in wages and a five-day-a-week work schedule.
Here's all you need to know about the bank strike, including important dates to remember:
The four unions that have called for the strike are the All India Bank Officer's Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Officer's Association (AIBOA), the Indian National Bank Officer's Congress (INBOC) and the National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
Bank strike: Important dates
The two-day strike will begin on the midnight of September 25. The unions have also mentioned an indefinite stir from the second week of November - to protest against the merger plan involving 10 nationalised banks.
The strike and bank holidays will result in several lenders remaining closed from September 26 through September. According to current RBI rules, banks observe public holidays on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month.
Mega merger plan to reduce number of PSU banks to 12, from 27
Out of the four amalgamations, the Finance Minister said Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank will together form the country's second largest public sector lender with a business of Rs 17.95 lakh crore.
Separate merger plans to combine Canara Bank with Syndicate Bank, Union Bank of India with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, and Indian Bank with Allahabad Bank were also revealed.
Since 2017, two such big mergers have taken place: one to combine six of State Bank of India's associate banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself, and another to amalgamate Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank into Bank of Baroda.
Demands by employees of nationalised banks
Other than an expeditious wage revision and five working days in a week, the unions are demanding halting of undue interference in the existing procedure of vigilance cases by outside agencies, and settlement of issues pertaining to retirees.
Other demands include adequate recruitment, scrapping of the National Pension System (NPS) and reduction of service charges for consumers.
In a letter to the chairman of Indian Banks' Association, signed by the General Secretaries of the four organisations, the unions said: "We strongly oppose and protest the government's move of merger/consolidation of public sector banks. Just adding two balance sheets will not make a resultant balance sheet stronger."
The IBA is a voluntary association of lenders whose members include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank.
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