Yesterday was a national bank holiday for Christmas. However, today, on December 26, banking services may get disrupted due to a massive one-day strike called by bank unions. It would be safer for bank customers, if possible, to postpone their bank-related work. Private sector banks are unlikely to get affected.
Bank unions have called for a one-day strike to protest against the proposal to merge Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank. This will be second such protest in less than a week. According to news agency PTI, most of the banks have already informed customers about the strike.
The strike is being organised by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which is an umbrella organisation of nine bank unions including the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
The government had announced the proposal to merge BOB, Vijaya and Dena Bank in September this year. The idea is to reduce the number of public sector banks and enhance the financial health of weak banks. The government hopes to make the merged entity the third largest banking firm.
The bank employees, however, fear for their jobs even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised to protect the interest of the employees.
The bank unions say that post-merger, a large number of branches will be closed and customers will have to face hardships as already banks are burdened with various government schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra, social security insurance, and PM’s housing scheme, among others.