United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions have called for a nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 against central government’s move to privatise public sector banks.
“We have been advised by Indian Banks Association (IBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has given a call for an all-India strike by bank employees on 15th and 16th March 2021,” SBI said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday, according to Hindustan Times.
SBI also said that the bank has made arrangements for the normal functioning in all branches and offices, but it added that the work may be impacted by the strike.
Meanwhile, ahead of the strike, banks are scheduled to be closed on March 13 i.e. second Saturday and March 14 i.e. Sunday.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting Union Budget in February this year, had announced the privatisation of public sector banks as part of the government’s disinvestment drive to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore.
“Other than IDBI Bank, we propose to take up the privatisation of two PSBs and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22,” Sitharaman had said.
The UFBU comprises of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
The government last year had also merged 10 public sector banks into four, bringing down their number from 27 in March 2017 to 12.