Banking services across India might get affected on the two days as the United Forum of Bank Unions has called for a strike on Aug 22 and 23 to protest against various issues, reports said.
UFBU represents nearly 10 lakh bank employees and officers working the public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks, regional rural banks and co-operative banks.
Over a million employees and officers of 27 public sector banks, 12 old generation private banks and eight foreign banks will participate in the strike, reports said.
The union is mainly opposed to the Government’s proposal of increasing the voting rights to 10% from 1% for public sector banks and to 26% from 10% for private sector banks, reports said citing an official of a public sector bank representing the officer’s association.
“The proposed banking law amendments proposing to adversely amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and Banking Companies' Acquisition & Transfer of Undertakings Act, aimed at merger of banks, allowing private and foreign capital in banks, unrestricted voting rights and granting licences to corporate business houses to start new banks, are aimed at handing over the Indian private sector banking to multi-national banks and increasing the presence of Indian corporate and foreign direct investment in public sector banks,” reports said citing the secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association, Vishwas Utagi.
The outcome of these proposed measures would be closure of rural bank branches, resorting to a large number of ultra-small branches, thereby privatising rural banking operations through contractual businesses, he said.
Despite the protests, the Lok Sabha will take up amendments in the Banking Regulation Act for consideration and passage on Wednesday.
The union is also opposed to unfriendly work hours and certain recommendations of the Khandelwal Committee which bypasses the employee unions regarding HR matters. The union has also demanded a five-day working week as is followed in other services industries including insurance, stock markets, foreign exchange markets, among others.