Public sector banks including State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday urged unions to reconsider their decision to go on a two-day nationwide strike, and invited them for further discussions. Bank unions under the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) umbrella have called a strike on December 16 and 17 against the proposed public sector bank privatisation. In the Budget 2021-22, the government had announced its intent to take up the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs).
The country's largest lender SBI in a tweet urged its staff members to reconsider their decision and refrain from participating in strike. "Furthermore, considering the ongoing pandemic situation, resorting to a strike will cause great inconvenience to the stakeholders," the tweet said. SBI said in a release that it has requested staff members to reconsider and refrain from participating in the strike "in the interest of our customers, investors, and the Bank". However, it said in the likelihood of services being interrupted, it asked customers to carry out transactions in advance.
Canara Bank in a tweet said the bank has called a meeting with the relevant stakeholders on December 14 to discuss various issues. "To ensure seamless services to our customers, we have invited the leaders of majority associations/ unions for discussions and appealed to them for withdrawal of proposed strike call, given on December 16 and 17, 2021," Indian Bank said in a tweet.
UCO Bank makes a humble request to its bank unions to call off the nationwide bank strike in the interest of its esteemed customers, the Kolkata-based lender said in a tweet.
Central Bank of India asked the unions to advise its members to channelise maximum efforts towards excelling their performance for the overall growth of the bank.
"This quarter ending December 2021 is crucial for our bank growth and sincere effort are to be made by all centralities to come out of this alarming situation and exit PCA (prompt corrective action) at the earliest," it said in a letter to both employees and officer union.
Management of banks and the Indian Banks' Association are reaching out to UFBU for addressing their demands and concerns and arriving at an amicable solution, Bank of India said in a tweet assuring employees.
Members of UFBU include All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Confederation of India (BEFI).
Others are Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
PNB appealed to its staff and officers unions to withdraw their proposed strike.
Earlier in the day, the finance minister in a reply to the Lok Sabha said the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation is yet to be decided two candidates for privatisation.
The government had in Budget 2021-22 announced its intent to take up privatisation of two PSBs during the year and approval of a policy of strategic disinvestment of public sector enterprises, she said in the Lok Sabha.
"Consideration of various issues related to disinvestment, which inter alia, include selection of the bank(s) is entrusted to the Cabinet committee designated for this purpose. Decision by the Cabinet committee concerned for privatisation of PSBs has not been taken in this regard," she said.
The government has budgeted Rs 1.75 lakh crore from stake sale in public sector companies and financial institutions, including two PSBs and one insurance company, during the current financial year.