Bank Strike: In a big relief for millions of bank customers, bank unions have called off their two days proposed strike that was beginning from Thursday. The decision was announced following a meeting of bank unions with finance secretary Rajeev Kumar in New Delhi today. Our delegation met finance secretary Rajeev Kumar, with whom the issues related to mergers, wage revision, introduction of a five day week and reduction in cash transaction hours were discussed in detail and his response was positive to find workable solutions, said four bank unions in a joint statement, adding that following an appeal by the finance secretary they have decided to defer their proposed strike that was set to begin from Wednesday midnight.
“In view of the consideration of a positive and workable solution by the finance secretary, the 48th-hour strike from midnight of September 25 to 28 stands deferred,” AIBOC, AIBOA, INBOC and NOBO said in a joint statement.
Four large bank unions – All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC), and National Organisation of Bank Officers have called for a 48 hour long bank strike beginning from Thursday to protest the Union government’s decision to merge 6 public sector banks with 4 larger PSU banks.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has last month announced the third round of merger and consolidation among public sector banks.
In this round, a total of six banks will be merged with four larger public sector banks. In addition to the merger of OBC and UBI with PNB, four other banks will merge into three larger public sector banks.
The Syndicate Bank will merge with Canara Bank. While Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank will merge with Union Bank of India and Allahabad Bank will merge with the Indian Bank. This round of merger will bring down the total number of public sector banks to 12 and reduce the inter-bank competition among public sector banks.
In 2017, the government announced the merger of five associate banks of State Bank of India and Mahila Bank with the SBI. In the second round, the government cleared the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda.
However, the third round was vehemently opposed by the bank unions. However, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has expressed confidence to persuade the unions to postpone the strike following a meeting with the heads of public sector banks in New Delhi last Thursday.
“Finance secretary was positive in formation of a committee of all stakeholders to address the issue arising due to the proposed merger of 10 banks including preserving the identity of all the banks. An appeal was made to us to revisit our strike call in view of the discussions,” said the bank unions in the joint statement.