The bank strike today is likely to disrupt the functioning of 21 public sector banks including State Bank of India and IDBI. Banks are on a nation wide strike today, August 22 to protest the government's move to privatise public sector banks.
There is a possibility that most banks will remain closed today. According to M S Jaishankar, the president of the All India SBI Officers' Coordination Committee no work will take place in public sector banks. Nearly 10 lakh employees of banks from across the nation will take part in the strike.
Private sector banks such as ICICI, HDFC, Axis and Kotak Mahindra are likely to function as normal. However cheque clearances are likely to be delayed.
Most banks have already informed their customers that functioning of branches and offices will be impacted if the strike takes off.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
"As the conciliation meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner failed, unions are left with no other option but to go on strike. There was no assurance from the government and the management of banks," AIBOC General Secretary D T Franco said.
All attempts to hammer out solutions to the demands raised by the unions bore no fruit and hence, UFBU decided to proceed with the proposed strike on August 22, he said.
Other demands include no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring wilful default of loans as criminal offence and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs, AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatchalam said. He also suggested that banks should not pass on the burden of corporate NPAs on bank customers by hiking charges. Venkatchalam said the government should abolish the Banks Board Bureau and ensure stringent measures to recover bad loans and accountability of top executives.
UFBU, which claims membership of nearly 10 lakh across banks, also requested the government for cost reimbursement of demonetisation to banks.