21/12/2018 10:39 AM IST

Banks May Be Closed For 5 Days Due To Strike, Holidays

Most bank branches will be open only on 24 December.

Ajay Verma / Reuters

Financial transactions may be affected from Friday until Wednesday as banks across the country may remain closed for five out of six days because of two union strikes and other holidays. 

A union of public sector bank officers has called for a strike on Friday, demanding immediate wage revision and protesting merger of the state-owned banks.

The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) is expected to hit banking operations across the country. However, private sector banks will continue working as they are not part of the strike.

Around 3.2 lakh officers are expected to participate in the strike, reported The Indian Express.

Most banks have already informed their customers about the strike and its impact on their normal banking operations.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions, has also decided to observe a strike on 26 December.

According to The Times of India, services at ATMs are expected to be normal during the strike on Friday, but they may be affected on 26 December.

Taking into account these two days of unions’ strike and other holidays, banks would be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend. So, most bank branches will be open only on 24 December.

Till 26 December, there are three holidays — fourth Saturday on 22 December, then Sunday and then Christmas on Tuesday.

Why the strike?

AIBOC joint general secretary Ravinder Gupta said, “We have demanded wage revision based on the minimum wages formula without linking to profits or paying capacity.”

“We called the strike on 21 December demanding full and unconditional mandate for the XIth bipartite wage revision talks based on a charter of demands submitted in May, 2017,” AIBOC Assistant General Secretary Sanjay Das told IANS.

As of now many major banks have not given the mandate. Only a few banks have given mandate to Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for negotiating only upto Scale III officers, said Charanjit deputy general secretary Canara Bank Officers’ Association, an affiliate of AIBOC said.

Such a fractured mandate will result in deep cut of allocated funds meant for distributing among the various heads of pay slip components, Gupta said.

Besides, the union has also opposed the proposed merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.

“The burning issue of the announcement proposing to merge three public sector banks and the consolidation of regional rural banks will also be raked up during the protests,” AIBOC West Bengal unit president Subhujyoti Chattopadahyay was quoted as saying in The Indian Express report.

(With PTI inputs)