New Delhi: Normal banking operations may be hit as employees unions of public sector banks have decided to join the two-days strike call given by central trade unions beginning February 20 to press for wage hike in the backdrop of rising inflation.
The nation-wide strike call has been given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) consisting of nine national level unions including AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW and AIBOC in support of their demand.
Apprehending disruption in their normal banking operation, many banks have already informed their customers about the proposed strike.
"A section of the bank's employees may participate in the proposed strike on the said date, if the strike materialises. In view of the above, it is likely that the normal functioning of the bank branches and offices may get affected," Corporation Bank said in a statement.
Delhi State Bank Employees Federation, in a statement said, clearing function of RBI will be affected and other banking operations.
Meanwhile, sources said, banks would be taking steps to ensure that public do not face problem at least on the cash front during the strike period.
Banks would be feeding additional cash in ATMs to take care of cash needs of their customers.
Bank unions are pressing for early wage revision of employees, which is due from November 2012, National Organisation of Bank Workers' (NOBW) said.
Also bank unions are opposing banking sector reforms and any plan for merger of banks.
There are 26 public sector banks with employees strength of around 10 lakh.
In December 2012 also four bank unions went on strike in opposition to amendments carried out in Banking Regulation Act and Banking Companies Act, enabling foreign equity in public sector banks.
The bank strike is part of general strike call given by all 11 central trade unions including Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) have already threatened to go on strike.
Meanwhile, convener of the West Bengal chapter of UFBU Nagendranath Bhattacharya told PTI that the bank unions have extended support to the strike where their issues would also be highlighted.
Apart from wage-related issues, Bhattacharya said bank unions are also protesting against passage of the Banking Regulation Act in Parliament following which foreign banks would be able to start operation in the country, outsourcing of jobs and compassionate appointments.