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Bank staff on two-day nationwide strike from today, services may be affected; all you need to know

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The two-day bank strike on December 16 and 17 has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which is an umbrella body of nine unions. They are protesting the Centre’s plan to privatise two state-run lenders.

Bank staff on two-day nationwide strike from today, services may be affected; all you need to know
Nearly nine lakh employees of several public sector banks, including the State Bank of India, are on a two-day nationwide strike starting today to protest the Centre’s plan to privatise two state-run lenders.
The strike on December 16 and 17 has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), which is an umbrella body of nine unions.
Here are things you need to know about the strike:
Bank unions under the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) umbrella, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), will participate in the strike.
Bankers have been protesting against the government’s plan to privatise two public sector lenders since the Centre announced its intent in Budget 2021-22.
The additional chief labour commissioner on Wednesday had called for conciliatory talks with the unions to prevent the strike, but no breakthrough could be reached, AIBOC general secretary Soumya Datta said.
Bankers are demanding a formal assurance from the government that it will not introduce the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to privatise PSU banks in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
In Tamil Nadu, the ruling DMK has announced “total support” to the strike. State minister Durai Murugan has called the BJP-led government’s move to pass the Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2021 as “anti-democratic”.
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Some banks like the State Bank of India (SBI) have informed customers about the impact on banking operations due to the strike.
“We advise that while the bank has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of strike, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted by the strike," the SBI had said in a filing earlier.
The SBI had earlier requested the unions to refrain from striking work in the interest of customers. The bank had said the strike would cause “great inconvenience to the stakeholders” amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Other banks like Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank and Punjab and Sind Bank had urged the unions to reconsider their plan to strike work.
On December 1, bank officers and unions had started a protest campaign called ‘Bank Bachao, Desh Bachao’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
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