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Bank Employee Unions Call Strike To Protest Against Mergers: 10 Things To Know

Bank strike 2019: Unions that have called for the bank strike are the All India Bank Employees Association and the Bank Employees Federation of India.

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Bank Employee Unions Call Strike To Protest Against Mergers: 10 Things To Know

Bank strike In October: The unions said that the strike call is to oppose bank mergers.

Two trade unions of bank employees have proposed an all-India strike on October 22 to protest against the announced consolidation of 10 state-run lenders into four. "We can easily understand that mergers are a prelude to privatisation of banks and hence we need to vehemently oppose such moves," the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) said in a statement. In August, the government announced mega merger plans for state-run banks in a bid to strengthen the country's financial sector, a move which it said would bring down the number of public sector banks in the system to 12 from 27.
Here are 10 things to know about the bank's strike:
  1. In a regulatory filing, Bank of Baroda said that the functioning of its branches/offices may be "affected/paralyzed" due to the proposed strike.
  2. The state-run lender, however, assured that it is taking all necessary steps for smooth functioning in bank branches on the day of strike.
  3. The two unions that have called for the bank strike are the All India Bank Employees Association (AlBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).
  4. "Merger of banks will imply closure of large number of branches with consequent staff surplusage and staff redundancy which in turn would endanger our jobs and job security," BEFI said in a statement.
  5. In a joint statement, the unions said that the strike call is to oppose bank mergers and banking reforms and high penal and service charges for customers. Other demands include recovery of bad loans, stringent action on defaulters charges and job security, according to the statement. 
  6. Last month, four unions of public sector bank officers - the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), the Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) and the National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) - had called for a strike opposing the merger of banks. However, the strike was later deferred after Union Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar assured the unions the government would look into their demands.
  7. According to the mega consolidation plan announced in August, Punjab National Bank will be merged with United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce; Syndicate Bank with Canara Bank; Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank, and Andhra Bank with Corporation Bank and Union Bank of India.
  8. The merger to combine 10 state-run banks into four follows the amalgamation of six of SBI's associate banks along with Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the country's largest lender in 2017, and the combination of Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank and Bank of Baroda the next year.
  9. Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has said that loans worth Rs. 81,781 crore were disbursed during the nine-day outreach programme organised by banks. The loan camps were aimed at meeting the demand of borrowers during the festival season.
  10. The government expects GDP growth to pick up in the October-March period as consumer demand improves in the festival season.




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