New Delhi, Mar 11 (FN Representative) United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, has given a call for a two-day strike from March 15 to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned lenders. In the Union Budget presented last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of its disinvestment plan. The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years. Conciliation meetings – before the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner on March 4, 9 and 10 – did not yield any positive result, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said in a statement. ‘Hence, it has been decided to go ahead with the strike for 2 continuous days on 15th and 16th March 2021.
About 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike,’ he claimed. Most of the banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI), have informed their customers about the impact on functioning of branches and offices if the strike materialises. Banks have also informed that they are taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of bank branches and offices on the days of the proposed strike. Members of UFBU include All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Confederation of India (BEFI). Others are Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).