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PSU banks taking steps to deal with July 7 strike call

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

With bank employees set to strike work on July 7 in protest against the government's decision to dilute its equity in banks, PSU lenders today said they are taking steps so that their operations are not hampered. Dena Bank told BSE that measures are being taken for smooth functioning of its branches on July 7.

"The bank is taking all necessary steps in terms of the existing guidelines for smooth functioning of bank's branches and offices to deal with the strike," it said. Union Bank said it was assessing the situation, while Punjab & Sind Bank said the strike, if any, would have minimal impact on its operations. Other banks are also said to be contemplating steps to deal with the strike.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of unions of all hues, has given the strike call against the government's decision to dilute its equity in the banks and give foreign investors additional voting rights. 

An estimated 10 lakh employees across the banking system may participate in the one-day strike, the All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) had said. AIBEA Secretary Vishwas Utangi last week had claimed that employees from foreign and private banks have also agreed to participate in the strike. 

The government intends to increase the voting rights for foreign entities beyond the present 10% through an amendment to the Banking Regulation Act. 

The strike is also to oppose the government decision to limit its stake in public sector banks to 51%, which Utangi termed tantamount to privatisation. The UFBU is against consolidation of the SBI Group by merging its five associate banks with State Bank of India.

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First Published: Wed, June 29 2011. 14:37 IST