Banking operations will be impacted across the country on Friday with around 10 lakh bankers of 40 private and state-run banks striking work in protest against the central government's banking policies, a union leader said on Thursday. "The strike is on. We are not aware of any case filed by the banks or the Indian Banks Association (IBA) to restrain the nine unions of UFBU (United Forum of Bank Unions) from striking," C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), told IANS. Earlier this month, major bank unions deferred a two-day strike call for July 12 and 13 following a restraint order by the Delhi High Court. The unions in the banking sector had given the strike call protesting against the merger of the five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI) with SBI and the privatisation of IDBI Bank. The union is opposed to the government's decision to merge the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), State Bank of Patiala (SBP), State Bank of Mysore (SBM) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) with the SBI. "The strike will involve employees and officers of public sector banks, old generation private banks and foreign banks with a total of more than 80,000 branches," he said. According to him, the banks may be filling up the automatic teller machines (ATM) numbering around 200,000 in the country to facilitate cash withdrawals. "We wanted to strike when Parliament is in session. Though the strike is on a Friday, the next day is a full working day for the banks. There will be no bunching of holidays," he said. Venkatachalam said the strike was against the unwarranted banking reform measures. The nine constituent units of UFBU are: AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, INBOC, NOBW and NOBO.