Calcutta/New Delhi, Sept. 23: Over nine lakh employees of public sector banks will go on a two-day nationwide strike beginning tomorrow to protest merger and consolidation and wage related issues.
Talks with the chief labour commissioner have failed and we are proceeding with the strike, said C. H. Venkatachalam, convener of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).
Normal banking transactions are likely to be disrupted across 50,000 branches, including about 15,000 branches of the State Bank of India (SBI) and its six associate banks.
While ATM operations at public sector bank branches are likely to remain suspended because of picketing by agitators, standalone ATMs of even private banks may get affected. Clearing operations, cash handling, forex and money market transactions are also likely to be affected because of the strike.
A few banks, including Dena Bank and Canara Bank, in their filing with the BSE last week, said the normal functioning of bank branches might get affected.
The strike has been called because of the delay in the settlement of issues such as wage revision and a second pension option, the UFBU convener said.
According to Venkatachalam, the UFBU, comprising nine all-India unions and organisations, is protesting the governments policy of privatisation and consolidation.
Last month, the officers of the SBI and its associate banks went on a strike to oppose the merger of the State Bank of Saurashtra with the SBI. Two days later, a section of bank employees of the nationalised banks also started agitation.