Bank unions on strike tomorrow against banks merger

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Bank employees have called for a strike on October 22 to oppose the government’s decision to merge 10 state-run banks into four. The two unions of bank employees — All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have jointly called for the strike.

The employees will be protesting against the merger of Punjab National Bank with United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank with Canara Bank, Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank and Andhra Bank with Corporation Bank and Union Bank of India.

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State-run banks including Bank of Maharashtra, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank and Bank of Baroda have warned their operations may be impacted due to the call of strike as per regulatory filings.

“AIBEA and BEFI have called for an all India strike of its members on October 22, in support of their demands. In the event the strike materializes, the normal functioning of the bank may get affected,” Oriental Bank of Commerce said in the regulatory filing on Saturday.

Earlier, Bank of Baroda said that the operations of its branches/officer may be “affected/paralyzed” due to proposed strike.

In a joint statement the memebers of the twi unions stated, “We can easily understand that mergers are a prelude to privatisation of banks and hence we need to vehemently oppose such moves.”

In August, the government announced plans to merge state-run banks in a bid to strengthen the country’s financial sector, a move which it said would bring down the number of public sector banks (PSBs) in the system to 12 from 27.