Banking operations will be affected Wednesday as close to 1 million employees of various public sector and some of the private and foreign banks are on a day-long strike to protest against the proposed merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda.
The unions are claiming that the merger is not in the interest of banks or their customers and will in fact be detrimental to both.
The government wants banks to grow in size through this amalgamation but even if all public sector banks are bundled into one, the merged entity cannot find a place among the top 10 globally, said United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which has called for the one-day strike.
"This merger will see a large number of branches getting closed and customers will have to face hardships as already banks are burdened with the implementation of various government schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra, social security insurance, and Prime Minister's housing scheme, among others," the union said.
UFBU is an umbrella organisation of nine unions, including the All-India Bank Officers Confederation, the All- India Bank Employees Association and the National Organisation of Bank Workers, among others.
Last week, around 320,000 bank officers from various state-run banks were on a one-day strike opposing the proposed merge and also seeking immediate wage revision.
The wage talks are on for the past 13 months between the unions and IBA, the latter has offered a wage revision of 8 per cent.
In the past wage settlement, which was for the period from November 1, 2012 to October 31, 2017, the employees got a 15 per cent hike.