Bank employees across the country have decided to go on strike on Friday to press for policy corrections on various issues confronting the banking sector.

A.C. Joseph, convener of the Kottayam district committee of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of nine unions that represent the workforce of the banking industry, told mediapersons here on Monday that the contentious issues included the proposal of the Union government to grant banking licences to industrial houses, privatisation of public sector banks and reduction of the equity capital of the government in these banks; attempts to merge the public sector banks in the name of global competition; the proposed amendments in the banking laws; the policy of outsourcing the permanent and perennial jobs in the industry; ensuring adequate staff strength; and revival of the Banking Service Recruitment Board.

As part of the agitation programmes in the district on Friday, a mass rally would be taken out by the bank employees. This would be followed by a dharna in front of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) Kottayam main branch, Mr. Joseph said.

Demonstrations would be held at various places in the district on Thursday. Rallies would be organised at all taluk headquarters on Tuesday.

Aniyan Mathew of the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), George Zacharia of the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), C.P. Mathew of the National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), Kurian Issac of the All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), and Abraham Thomas of the Bank Employees' Federation of India (BEFI) participated in the press conference.