Over 45,000 employees under the banner of State Sector Bank Employees Association and 2,500 officers under the banner of All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) in the subsidiary banks of State Bank of India -- SBM, SBBJ, SBH, SBIR, SBP and SBT -- are observing strike on Monday opposing the attempts of State Bank of India to merge these banks in SBI.
On December four, over 24000 officers under the banner of Associate Banks Officers Association in all these banks including State Bank of Saurashtra are also observing the strike for the same reason, according to State Bank of Mysore Employees Union.
The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the AIBOA have also decided to observe an all India strike on January three, a Union release said.
According to the Union, the SBI is now encountering serious competition from the ICICI Bank, which is likely take the first position in the country held by the SBI hitherto. The SBI is also finding it difficult to raise its capital needs to meet the competition, it said.
The SBI is, therefore, planning to merge these associate banks in itself to utilise their assts for its own "selfish ends", campaigning that the merged bank will have larger asset base needed for global competiton, that the customers of the merged bank will benefit from the large network of branches after merger and that the employees of the merged bank will be benefited by the third terminal benefit -- pension or PF as the case may be, the release said.
"However, these contentions are far from true considering that the assets of all the public sector banks in India is about USD 300 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) and the combined assets of SBI group is less than USD 450 billion, whereas the least assets of a multinational bank is USD 1500 billion (Rs 1,50,000 crore), it said.
"It is therefore clear that, the merger is not in the interest of the customer or the staff and is not at all in the national interest", the Union said.