Sunday, October 2, 2022

Bank strike partially affects operations across India

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New Delhi: Banking operations across the country were affected partially on Tuesday because of the 24-hour bank strike called by two employee unions. The bank strike was called to protest against the government’s decision to merge 10 PSU banks to form four bigger banks. Reports emerging from various locations across the country, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Patna, Madhya Pradesh and Kolkata, said banking services like cash withdrawal and deposit at counters as well as cheque clearances were affected.

‘Merger of banks totally unwarranted’

The merger of banks is totally unwarranted in India as there is a need for more banking services and opening of more branches to serve the people, AIBEA General Secretary CH Venkatachalam said.

“The merger has so far resulted in closure of branches and hence it is a wrong policy. Recovery of the huge bad loans is the top priority for banks, and merger will change the priority. Hence, it is a bad idea,” he added.

3 lakh bank employees on strike

According to an IANS report, at least 3 lakh employees have joined the strike call. A report from Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, said that around 20,000 employees took part in the strike and operations were impacted at about 4,800 out of 7,416 branches.

However, the impact of the bank strike was less pronounced at State Bank of India (SBI) branches as very few of its employees are members of the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) — the two striking bank unions. Employee union leaders had also threatened to shut down ATMs.
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The backdrop

PSU banks like Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Syndicate Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce had already told their customers that their operations could be paralysed due to the bank strike.

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