New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has called a two-day nationwide strike on December 16 and 17. The strike has been called to protest against the Centre's proposal to privatize public sector banks.

The All India Bank Officer's Confederation (AIBOC) also organized a rally on December 1 at Delhi's Jantar Mantar. Several bank officers and trade unions attended the rally to protest against the government's move.

Sanjay Das, general secretary of All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), said that privatising PSBs will hurt the priority sectors of the economy and also credit flow to self-help groups and to the rural economy, news agency PTI reported.

SBI, PNB, and other bank services will be affected

Public sector banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI), on Monday, urged the bank unions to reconsider their decision of holding a nationwide strike and engage in further discussion. The banks urged its employees to refrain from participating in the protest amid COVID and for the convenience of customers. 

Earlier SBI had said services of its branches and ATMs are likely to be affected. Notifying the same SBI wrote "We have been advised by the Indian Banks’ Association (lBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has served a Notice of Strike, informing that the members of the constituent Unions of UFBU viz. AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF, and INBOC propose to go on a nationwide Bank Strike on l6th & l7th December 2021 in support of their demands."

"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 by the Strike," it added.

Similarly, Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, and RBL bank also notified their customers that their services will be affected due to the strike called by the bank union.

Why are banks protesting?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the government's plan to privatize the public sector banks as a part of its disinvestment drive, in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament. This has irked bank unions and they are appealing to the government to withdraw its plan.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha