Workers at India’s state-owned banks called a nationwide strike on Friday in protest at proposed mergers that could cause job losses and demanded immediate wage rises.The strike organised by All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), impacted trading volumes in foreign exchange and debt markets.
AIBOC has a membership of over two million officers and affiliates in all major state-run banks and 10 private banks. The 21 state lenders hold two-thirds of India’s banking assets and account for the bulk of the record $150 billion of soured loans in the banking sector last year.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions in the country, have also decided to hold a strike on December 26 against the proposed merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.
These three state-run banks were supposed to be merged and created into India’s third-largest bank as part of efforts to clean up the banking system, which has been overburdened by bad debts.