Bharat Bandh Today, Tomorrow: The two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions across India has begun from 6 am today, March 28. Several bank unions including All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) and All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) have supported the Bharat Bandh today and tomorrow, and have said that its members will observe the strike on both the days. “AIBEA has decided to support this call and join this strike to focus on demands in the banking sectors," the union said, adding that the bank unions demand that the government should stop privatisation and instead take steps to strengthen public sector banks.
As a result of the strike, banking services are going to be affected in many parts of the country.
- In a statement, India’s largest public sector bank State Bank of India has said its banking services are likely to be affected due to the strike. “We advise that while the bank has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to a limited extent, by the strike,” said SBI in a regulatory filing.
- Similarly, another public sector bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), said its services might get affected as well amid Bharat Bandh today. “While bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to a limited extent by the strike," PNB said while adding that AIBEA, BEFI and AIBOA have served them notice about going on strike.
- Among private sector banks, Canara Bank said that it was taking all measurements to ensure smooth functioning of its banks and branches. However, services might be hit if the strike materialises, the lender added.
- On the other hand, Mumbai-headquartered RBL Bank said its bank unions have affiliations with AIBOA and AIBEA, and employees associated with the unions may go on strike. “The subject strike is for the issues at the industry bevel and is nowhere related at bank level issues. The bank will take all necessary steps for smooth functioning of the bank’s branches/offices on the days of strike. However, it is likely that some of our branches would also be impacted by the strike," said RBL.
- Several other public and private sector bank, including the Central Bank of India, have said that its services will be affected due to the strike, as trade unions have called for Bharat Bandh against the “the anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-national policies" of the central government.
Apart from the two-day nationwide strike today and tomorrow, banking services are likely to also get impacted on March 31 as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified banks to participate in the exercise of annual closure of government accounts for the current fiscal year 2021-22.
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