Banks To Remain Closed On Tuesday, Wednesday

- Dec 26, 2018-

Bank employees have called a strike on Wednesday, December 26, a day after the December 25 holiday for Christmas. With the failure of conciliation talks, about 10 lakh employees in private and government banks would go on strike on December 26 protesting against the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, trade union All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said last week. The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions including AIBEA, has also decided to hold a strike on December 26 against the proposed merger of three state-run banks.
Here are 10 things to know:
  1. The government earlier this year announced plans to merge the three state-run banks to create the third-largest bank as part of efforts to clean up the banking system, which has been overburdened by bad debts.

  2. The bank unions say they fear the mergers will lead to job cuts and allow private sector banks to dominate the industry.

  3. Wednesday's strike marks a second one in past one week.

  4. Workers at state-owned banks had on Friday called a nationwide strike in protest at proposed mergers that could cause job losses and demanded immediate wage rises. However, private sector lenders were not affected by the bank strike on Friday.

  5. The 21 state lenders hold two-thirds of banking assets and account for the bulk of the record $150 billion of soured loans in the banking sector last year.

  6. "During the conciliation meeting held in Delhi today, the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner advised the three banks and IBA (Indian Banks' Association) to hold negotiations with the unions and convey the Union's concerns to the government," news agency IANS quoted AIBEA General Secretary CH  Venkatachalam as saying.

  7. "No assurance came from either IBA or the government. Hence the conciliation talks failed and the December 26 strike stands," he added.

  8. The AIBEA is part of the nine unions in the banking sector under the umbrella body of United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).

  9. With Christmas on December 25, banks would effectively be closed for two days, affecting the banking public.

  10. Banks also remained closed last Saturday and Sunday (December 22 and 23). Besides Sundays, banks at present observe public holidays on the second and fourth Saturdays each month since September, 2015.