Bank strike Live Updates: Normal banking operations in public sector banks may be hit today as the unions under the aegis of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called for a nation-wide strike to protest against the government’s proposed consolidation move besides raising other demands. Customers have already been informed by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) that the functioning of branches and offices may take a hit if the strike takes off. It also asked banks to take measures in advance to minimise the impact. Services that are expected to be affected include deposit and withdrawal in bank branches, cheque clearance, NEFT and RTGS transactions. Operations at private lenders such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are expected to be normal except a delay in the cheque clearances.
Here are the Bank strike Live Updates as events take place-
2:57 PM CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association said, “It is a dawn-to-dusk strike as cheque clearing operations start at 6 a.m. Bankers working in around 10,300 branches struck work protesting the policies towards the sector.”
2:41 PM All attempts to hammer out solutions to the demands raised by the unions yielded no result and hence, UFBU decided to proceed with the proposed strike on August 22, Franco said.
2:35 PM As many as 21 public sector banks control 75 per cent of the total business, as per PTI
2:28 PM “As the conciliation meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner failed, unions are left with no other option but to go on strike. There was no assurance from the government and the management of banks,” AIBOC General Secretary D T Franco was quoted as saying by PTI.
2:20 PM The government should provide overtime for additional work during demonetisation, NOBW vice-president Ashwini Rana said to PTI.
02:10 PM: According to the AIBEA, when India needs more banking services, the Centre is talking of consolidation, amalgamation and merger of Banks.
02:00 PM: While operations will be affected, it is reported that ATMs and private sector banks will function as normal, according to ANI.
01: 30 PM: Over 10 lakh bank workers, representing nine public sector bank unions, who function under the United Forum of Banks Union, are on strike today.
01:20 PM: Among the 17-point charter of union demands, the main relates to the government’s denial of adequate capital to public sector banks, thus creating conditions for privatisation, an AIBEA statement said on Tuesday.
01:10 PM: All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS, “The strike is a huge success. Bank officials held demonstrations outside branches last evening to protest the government’s move to merge and privatise banks.”
01:00 PM: The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is protesting against reforms in the banking sector and other issues.
12:50 PM: An official of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) — the umbrella body of nine unions which has given the strike call — said over 10 lakh bank employees spread in more than 1,30,000 branches across the country struck work hitting cheque clearing activity, as per IANS.
12: 40 PM: All Indian Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) leader Vishwas Utagi described the day-long strike as “total” with the wholehearted participation of over a million bank employees in 125,000 branches across the country.
12:30 PM: “All cheque clearing operations, financial transactions and other routine daily banking functions are stopped today due to the strike. Many ATMs, which are now functional, may run out of cash by as there will be no replenishment,” Utagi told IANS.
12:20 PM: The strike has hit all the 42,000 branches of 21 public sector banks, including the monolithic State Bank Of India and IDBI, 18 old generation banks, eight foreign banks and 56 Regional Rural Banks in Mumbai and Maharashtra, said All Indian Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) leader Vishwas Utagi.
12:15 PM: Over 150,000 bank employees in Maharashtra today joined the nationwide banking strike paralyzing all financial operations in the country’s commercial capital, to demand redressal of various pending demands, a union official said.
12:05 PM: Besides opposing the government’s consolidation move, other demands of unions include a no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans and declaration of wilful default of loans as a criminal offence.
11:55 AM: Operations at private sector lenders such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are expected to be normal except delay in cheque clearances.
11:40 AM: Cheque clearances, NEFT/RTGS transactions as well as deposits/withdrawals at branches of public sector banks will be affected. However, online banking transactions will not be impacted
11:30 AM: The strike is being conducted to oppose privatization policies of the government. Also, during the demonetization drive, employees who worked overtime have not been compensated yet. While many bank employees are retiring this year, there are not enough people being hired to replace them, thus weakening the manpower, he said.
11: 10 AM: Rana said that the government should take responsibility of any inconvenience caused to customers due to the non-operation of banks on account of the strike.
11:00 AM: Rana further said, “Government and some other authorities have been saying for a long time that they will merge some banks. However, no constructive action has been taken yet. If such a proposal exists, it should be made clear to the stakeholders and management. A notice was sent on August 3, but there has been no response so far. We want clarity on the matter,” as quoted by ANI.
10:40 AM: Vice President of the National Organization of Bank Workers, Ashwani Rana said that the strike is being staged as a means of opposing the government’s privatization policies, which is putting the banks under pressure.