Kolkata, Aug 21: Banking activities in West Bengal are likely to be crippled on Wednesday and Thursday as most union members will join the two-day nationwide strike to protest against the proposed Banking Sector Reform Bill.
Shutters at ATMs of the public sector as well as private sector banks are also likely to be down as the personnel guarding of the machines will participate in the stir.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of nine major bank employees associations, decided to go ahead with the two-day strike as the reconciliation talks called by the chief labour commission failed.
“Around 10,000 branches will be shut in West Bengal. It would cause a lot of hassle to ordinary people, but we have to do this to make sure that our concern reaches to the authorities,” Gautam Bose, general secretary, UFBU (West Bengal state unit), told a media conference here Tuesday.
The strike would also oppose outsourcing of work to outside agencies, and other “anti-labour” policies, jeopardising jobs in the banking sector and aimed at undermining the collective bargaining strength.
The Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2011, which is before parliament, contains provisions such as raising shareholders’ voting rights from 10 percent to 26 percent in private banks and supersession of bank boards.
“The passage of the Bill will be a giant step towards de-nationalisation of the PSU banks which have played a pivotal role in the growth of India’s economy. Our second most important concern is that outsourcing of jobs must be stopped,” Bose said.