Bank Strike: The United Forum of Banking Unions ( UFBU ) declared a national strike on all the banking union firms on August 22nd. The Strike was called as talks with the Central government have failed against the proposed reforms by the government in the banking industry.

Various bank operations like cash deposits, withdrawal of money, and clearance of cheques will effect badly by the strike. The operations at private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are expected to be normal expect the delay in cheque clearance.

Over 10 lakh employee and officers will be going ahead with the strike on Tuesday bringing the banking operations to a halt. The strike is called by UFBU which comprises of nine unions including All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).

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The demand of UFBU includes, it aims to stop the merger of banks and their privatization. UFBU wants the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill to be scrapped off totally. It also opposes the ‘moves’ regarding cancelling on co-operate loans. The UFBU wanted the government to implement the recommendation by the Public Standing Committee in resolving the issue of Non-Performing Assets.

UFBU also demanded that the employees should be paid extra wages for working extra hours on holidays during demonetization and Jan Dhan campaigns were the major requirements.

A.K. Nayak, Chief Labour Commissioner of Ministry of Labour Ministry of India Government, had a meeting with both Indian Bank Association (IBA) and UFBU. On August 16th, during the meeting, the IBA could not commit to resolving any of the demands of UFBU. It just stated that all these demands are policy issues of the government but appealed to the unions to withdraw the strike.

General Secretary of All India Bank Employees, CH Venkatachalam said, “We wanted an assurance from the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister that there will be no privatization of banks and no mergers of public sector banks.” He also added, as there is no assurance came at the conciliation meeting, we have decided to proceed with the strike on August 22ndd.

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