The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, has given a call for a two-day strike from December 16 to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned lenders.
In the Union Budget presented in February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of its disinvestment plan.
The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and merged 14 public sector banks in the past four years.
The government has listed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, for introduction and passage during the current session of Parliament.
In view of this, UFBU has decided to oppose the move for privatisation, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said in a statement.
Strike notice for December 16 and December 17, 2021, has been served by UFBU on the IBA, he said.
In a developing country like India, where banks deal with huge public savings and they have to play a leading role to ensure broad-based economic development, public sector banking with social orientation is the most appropriate and imperative need, he said.
Hence, he said, for the past 25 years, under the banner of UFBU "we have been opposing the policies of banking reforms which are aimed at weakening public sector banks".
Members of UFBU include All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Confederation of India (BEFI).
Others are Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
Photograph: PTI Photo