Bank strike begins, impacts services

About 35,000 employees in State are on strike

Published - December 16, 2021 11:36 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Public sector bank branches across the State were shuttered and customers could not access services, through the facilities, as a two-day nationwide strike called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) against privatisation began on Thursday.

An estimated 35,000 bank employees in the State were part of the strike, Bank Employees Federation of India’s Telangana general secretary P. Venkataramaiah said. Employees of regional rural banks and private banks were not part of the strike, he added.

Stating that all public sector bank branches were closed and no services were possible for customers, he said the situation is expected to remain the same on the second day of the strike.

Sources in the banking industry said there were no reports of ATM running of cash as anticipating the strike most of the banks would have replenished their facilities on Wednesday. They however, did not rule out the possibility of a cash out scenario at ATMs on Friday.

A protest demonstration was organised, as part of the strike, by the bank unions near the SBI LHO in Koti in which the participants raised slogans.

Describing the strike as total, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam in a statement said bank employees are conscious that bank privatisation will not be in the interest of the country, economy and people, besides affecting their jobs, job security and future prospect.

The UFBU had called for the strike protesting against the move of the Centre to privatise public sector banks and to introduce the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the current session of the Parliament, which will enable the government to reduce their equity capital in the PSBs to less than 51%, he said.

AIBEA is one of the nine constituent unions of the UFBU. Of the nine, two unions are not participating in the strike. A number of unions in RBI, LIC, cooperative banks as well as central trade unions are extending support to the strike.

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