A cluster of four bank officers unions called for a strike on September 26 and September 27 protesting the recent merger of 10 Public Sector Banks into four larger banks announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Given the fact that the 28 September is a fourth Saturday and 29 September is a Sunday, a weekly holiday for banks. Thus banks will not function for 4 consecutive days.
Besides this 30 September is known as the half yearly closing date while most of the staff are expected to be on leave on Monday that is on October 1 as the next day i.e., October 2 is a public holiday on account of Gandhi Jayanti. This will mean after 25th September, the next working day will be on October 3.
In the light of aforementioned facts the All India Bank Officer’s Confederation has planned the strike strategically on Sep 26 and 27 falling on Thursday and Friday respectively.
If the strike is successful, the banking sector will come to a stand still for seven consecutive days causing huge inconvenience to individuals and businesses across sectors causing liquidity crunch in the already slogging economy.
At present even the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement systems (RTGS) services are available only from 8 am to 7 pm on all working days.
The NEFT and RTGS will be made available 24X7 from December when the customers will face less inconveniences due to such strikes.
Still, the enormous informal economy that operates on cash will bear the brunt of such disruptions in the banking services.
The Bank employees threatened to go for an indefinite strike from November against the bank mergers and also to demand hike in salaries.
Other tow bank employee unions namely- All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) announced a one day strike from duty on October 22 in protest of the bank mergers.