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Bank employees can’t go on flash strikes now; govt makes new rule for public utility sector

Samrat Sharma
Bank strike, Banking services, AIBEA, BEF, bank merger, deposit interest rate, IBA, Ministry of finance

The government has said that being in the public utility sector, the bank employees cannot just go on a flash strike. It added that the banks will have to give notice at least 14 days before the strike, CNBC-TV18 reported citing The Ministry of Finance. The government announced this after banking operations across India were partially hit yesterday as employees of two unions sat on a 24-hour bank strike from the morning and another bank officers’ union extended full support to them. The unions were protesting against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to merge ten public sector banks into four bigger banks.

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Banking services like cash withdrawal and deposit at counters as well as cheque clearances were affected in many parts of the country. The two bank workers unions-All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI)- had decided to go ahead with the strike on Tuesday after their meeting with the chief labour commissioner in New Delhi failed on Monday.

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According to industry sources, operations of Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), Indian Bank, United Bank of India, UCO Bank and Kolkata based Allahabad Bank were likely to be hit. The merger plan announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in August this year indicated that the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank of India will merge with Punjab National Bank.

Meanwhile, the government has taken this step to avoid surprise strikes from the bank associations which lead to chaos and instability in the banking operations throughout the country.