The Two-day Bank Strike in India

September 25, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Banks | Leave a comment
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Beginning with their 4th January 2002 all India strike to protest the transfer of 24 employees of the Standard Chartered Bank to outside Kolkata (the 24 affected employees refused to participate in the Strike), government bank unions in India have been abusing their consolidated might in a perverse manner. In an age of global competition, when they should be trying to take government banks to better strength in the competition with new private banks, they have been frequently striking work in a whimsical manner as if they have some thing against PSBs and something for the new generation banks that get more and more big customers every time the PSBs do not function. This week’s two-day strike is an example.

 

Among others, the strike was also against merger of Subsidiary banks with SBI. The merger would give Pension as a third Retirement benefit to Subsidiary bank employees. Consolidation of banks would help take PSBs, especially SBI that has lost the race to ICICI, ahead of new generation global banks. In a market economy, a few bank employees cannot stop FDI in any sector by striking. With new technology, Office-based banking has disappeared and expansion of branch network is no longer relevant. As long as RBI stipulates lending priorities, priority sector lending would not be affected. The grounds cited for the strike thus fail to convince.

 

The only outcome of the strike four days ahead of half-yearly closing is paralysis of transactions for two whole days in a fast moving world. Government did not act because they are also for the new generation banks. As with every PSB strike, a large number of big customers have switched to new generation banks this time also. One wonders who the dubious strike was actually for.

 

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