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Nationwide banks and insurance companies strike: All you need to know about
As employees of various public sector banks have gone on strike March 15, over the Centre’s decision to privatise two state-owned lenders, banking operations including cheque clearance across the country got affected. UFBU, an umbrella body of nine unions, had given a strike call for March 15 and 16 and claimed that about 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike. Banks were already closed on March 13 (second Saturday) and March 14 (Sunday).
Branches of private-sector lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are open as they are not part of the strike.
♦About Banks Strike
Who has called the nationwide bank strike?
- The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has called for a two-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks and retrograde banking reforms.
Who all are participating in the strike?
- All nine banks unions – All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) will take part in the strike called by the UFBU.
Privatisation of 2 PSBs
- In the Union Budget presented last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government’s disinvestment plan. The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019, and has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years.
Not All Banks Will Be Privatised: Finance Minister Amid Employees’ Strike
- Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured that not all banks will be privatised and wherever it happens, the interest of the employees will be protected.
- The decision of Privatization is a well thought out decision. We want Banks to get more equity… We want banks to meet the aspirations of the country”.
Reason of Privatisation
- The strike was triggered by the government’s plan to privatise two public sector banks as part of its ambitious disinvestment drive to generate ₹ 1.75 lakh crore. The minister had also announced a deadline for the overall disinvestment project — completion of the Financial Year of 2022.
♦PSU Insurance Companies Strike
- After the two-day strike — Monday and Tuesday — by the bankers, unions in the public sector general insurance companies and Life Insurance Corporation of India will go on strike on Wednesday(March 17) and Thursday (March 18), respectively. Branches of private-sector lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are open as they are not part of the strike.
- The unions in the non-life and life sectors will be going on strike protesting against the government’s decision to privatise one of the general insurance companies, increasing foreign direct investment limit to 74 per cent and divest stakes in LIC by an initial public offer (IPO).
Who has called the nationwide Insurance strike?
- General Insurance All India Employees’ Association (GIEAIA) and All India Employees” Association (AIIEA)
About non-life insurers
- The four PSU non-life insurers are National Insurance Company Ltd, The New India Assurance Company Ltd, The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd and United India Insurance Company Ltd. The four companies have over 7,500 branches and a total employee strength of over 60,000.