Central trade unions have come together to give out a call for Bharat Bandh on March 28 and 29. Banking services may be hit partially on Monday and Tuesday as a section of bank employees’ unions has supported the two-day nationwide general strike called by trade unions.
The joint forum of central trade unions and various sectoral independent trade unions have given the strike call on Monday and Tuesday to protest against government’s anti-people economic policies and anti-worker labour policies.
Their demands include scrapping of the labour codes, no privatisation of any form, scrapping of the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), increased allocation of wages under MNREGA and regularisation of contract workers among others.
“AIBEA has decided to support this call and join this strike to focus on demands in the banking sectors,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said.
Its general secretary C H Venkatachalam said the bank union demands the government to stop privatisation of public sector banks and strengthen them, speedy recovery of bad loans, higher deposit rates by banks, lower service charges on customers as well as restoration of old pension scheme.
The AIBEA in public sector banks, private banks, foreign banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks will join the strike, the bank union said in a statement.
A number of public sector banks, including country’s largest lender SBI, have said that their services may get impacted to a limited extent due to the strike.
SBI said it has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike.
“It is likely that work at our bank may be impacted to a limited extent, by the strike,” SBI said.
City-headquartered Punjab National Bank (PNB) said AIBEA, Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) and All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) has served notices proposing to go on strike on March 28-29, 2022.
“While bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to a limited extent by the strike,” PNB said.
Bengaluru-headquartered Canara Bank said it is taking necessary steps for smooth functioning of bank branches and offices. However, if the strike materialises, the functioning of the bank may be impacted, Canara Bank added.
Private sector RBL Bank said its bank unions are affiliated to AIBOA and AIBEA, and the employees associated with these unions may participate in the strike.
“The subject strike is for the issues at the industry bevel and is nowhere related at bank level issues. The bank will take all necessary steps for smooth functioning of the bank’s branches/offices on the days of strike. However, it is likely that some of our branches would also be impacted by the strike,” RBL said.
Besides the two-days strike, the customer banking services may also get impacted on March 31st as RBI has asked the banks to participate in the exercise of annual closure of government accounts for the current fiscal year 2021-22.
All government transactions done by agency banks for financial year 2021-22 must be accounted for within the same financial year.
All agency banks should keep their designated branches open for over the counter transactions related to government transactions up to the normal working hours on March 31, 2022, the RBI said in a notification to banks.
Special clearing will be conducted on Thursday for collection of government cheques and RBI will issue necessary instructions in this regard.