Unions of public sector banks (PSBs) will join the general strike called by central trade unions for February 20 and 21. The 26 PSBs have about 10 lakh employees.

The call for a countrywide strike has been given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), comprising nine national level unions including the AIBEA, the NCBE, the BEFI, the NBEF, the NOBW and the AIBOC.

Even though bank managements have decided to stock adequate cash in ATMs, normal banking operations are likely to be affected. A number of banks have already informed customers of the fallout of the proposed strike.

Corporation Bank, for instance, has said: “A section of the bank's employees may participate in the proposed strike… It is likely that normal functioning of the bank branches and offices may get affected.”

On the part of employees, the Delhi State Bank Employees Federation has noted that the clearing house function of the Reserve Bank of India and other banking operations would also be affected.

Wage revision

Apart from their opposition to banking sector reforms and any likely merger of banks, the employee unions, according to the National Organisation of Bank Workers, are pressing for early wage revision which, it says, has fallen due since November last.

The general strike has been called by all 11 central trade unions, including the Congress-affiliated Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), demanding increased wages.