Four unions of officers of public sector banks have threatened to go on a two-day strike from September 26 to protest against the announced consolidation of 10 state-run lenders into four. In a notice serviced to the Indian Banks' Association, the officers' unions said that they propose to go on strike to protest against mergers and amalgamations in the banking sector. The government on August 30 announced consolidation of 10 large public sector banks into four. A union leader also said that the nationalised banks will further observe indefinite strike from the second week of November to press for their demands.
All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) have jointly served the strike notice.
Among other demands, the unions are also seeking immediate introduction of five-day week in full and reduction of cash transaction hours and regulated working hours.They have also demanded halting of undue interference in the existing procedure of vigilance cases by outside agencies, settlement of issues pertaining to retirees, adequate recruitment, scrapping of NPS, reduction of service charges for consumers and harassing of officers under specious plea of non-performance. Nationalised banks across the country will observe strike from midnight of September 25 to midnight of September 27, to protest merger and amalgamation in the banking sector by the central government and other demands of employees, the general secretary of AIBOC (Chandigarh), Deepal Kumar Sharma, said in Chandigarh.The unions will further observe indefinite strike from the second week of November, he added.
In the biggest consolidation exercise in the banking space, the Government on August 30 announced four major mergers of PSBs, bringing down their total number to 12 from 19 in 2017, a move aimed at making state-owned lenders the global-sized banks. According to the consolidation exercise, the United Bank of India and the Oriental Bank of Commerce are to be merged with Punjab National Bank, making the proposed entity the second largest public sector bank (PSB). Syndicate Bank is to be merged with Canara Bank. Allahabad Bank will be merged with Indian Bank. Andhra Bank will be amalgamated with Corporation Bank and Union Bank of India.
India has seen a merger of six associate banks along with SBI and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the country's largest lender in the financial year beginning April 2017.Following next year, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank were merged with Bank of Baroda.