Indian banks strike against "anti-people" reforms
By Georgi Ninov - Research Analyst
Around one million bank employees went on a one-day strike on 28th February across India to protest against a number of issues that have recently impacted the country's banking system. The strike affected around 85,000 branches of commercial banks and more than 105,000 branches of co-operative banks.
The strike was called by a body of nine bank unions, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), and its goal was described as a protest against the government’s “anti-people banking reforms”. The unions are demanding compensations for bank employees for the extra hours of work and stress during the 50 days following November 2016’s demonetization as well as a wage revision. In addition to this, the unions will demand decisive actions against stressed assets and the big borrowers responsible for them. Moreover, they are protesting against the impending merge between SBI and its five associate banks.
The strike is expected to affect cheque clearances and cash operations. ATMs are also likely to be emptied. However, private lenders were not taking part of the strike as they are not part of UFBU. The online banking operations also were expected to function normally, since some IT departments were granted exemption from the strike.