- Two days of bank strike will be followed by another two days of weekly holidays in the next week of September
- Most bank branches are likely to function only for three days in the week
NEW DELHI : If a two-day bank strike called by a cluster of four bank officers union next week is successful, then most bank branches in India would be closed for four consecutive days from September 26 to 29.
Four bank unions - All India Bank Officer's Confederation, the All India Bank Officer's
Association, the Indian National Bank Officer's Congress and the National Organisation of Bank Officers - have called for a strike from September 26 to 27 to protest against the merger of 10 state-run banks into four bigger banks.
The bank unions have strategically announced the strike on Thursday and Friday. On September 28, too, banks will be closed as it is the fourth Saturday of the month. Sunday is anyways a weekly bank holiday.
The four-day-long bank holiday is likely to affect banking operations next week as most branches could be open only for three days in the entire week. September 30, a Monday, could be the next working day after September 25.
Not just cheque clearances but ATM services too might get affected as a result of the bank strike followed by two consecutive weekly offs.
Once the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement System) payments system becomes a 24x7 operations from December, bank customers will face less inconvenience during such bank strikes and long bank holidays.
At present, NEFT and RTGS services are available only from 8 am to 7 pm on all working days, except the second and the fourth Saturday of the month.
Since the two-day bank strike is not a bank holiday, internet banking and online RTGS/NEFT/IMPS/UPI transfers are likely to remain available on next Thursday and Friday.
To oppose the "merger and amalgamations in the banking sector" and raise demands of a salary hike, the four unions have also threatened to go on an indefinite strike from November.
In the meantime, two other bank employees unions - All India bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) - have announced another one-day strike on October 22 against the merger of banks.