Bank merger protest
Employees of Allahabad Bank stage a demonstration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the bank's merger with Indian Bank, in Patna.IANS

In a big relief to customers, the Officers' unions of public sector banks have deferred the two-day (September 26-27) strike over the mega-bank merger. The strike was deferred indefinitely after Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar assured the bankers that a committee will be formed to look into the issues arising out of the bank consolidation.

"The Secretary Finance was positive in formation of a committee consisting of all concerned to address the issues arising out of the proposed merger of 10 banks, including preserving the identity of all the banks," the unions said in a statement on Monday evening.

"An appeal was made to us to revisit our strike call in view of the discussions... In view of the consideration of the positive and workable solution by the Secretary, Finance, the 48-hour strike from midnight of 25th September, 2019 to 27 September, 2019 stands deferred," the statement added.

The development assumes significance as the strike, along with the planned monthly non-working day of fourth Saturday on September 28 and Sunday on September 29, would have effectively shut PSB operations for four consecutive days, thus, hampering cash withdrawals at branches and ATMs.

The strike call was given by four officers' unions of the banking industry -- All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC) and National Bank Officers' Organisation (NOBO).

(With agency inputs.)