Four bank unions have announced a two-day strike from September 26-27, to protest against the merger of 10 major public sector banks which was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month.
The four bank unions are All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).
WhatsApp has been ripe with messages circulating that claim the strike might impact banking operations for atleast seven days.
BOOM received the video on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) inquiring about it.
"Strike for two days, but impact will be for four days"
BOOM contacted Vishwas Uttagi of All India Bank Officer’s Association who said that, "The strike is for two days, but the impact will be for four days, which is the strategy."
After the two day strike, on September 28, banks would remain closed as it is the fourth Saturday of the month and Sunday is a weekly bank holiday, making it four days.
No 'Half yearly closing' bank holiday on September 30
However, as claimed in the viral message, Monday - September 30, is not a 'half yearly closing' bank holiday according to the list of holidays on the RBI website.
While the claim that 'most staff will be on leave' on October 1 is speculation, according to the RBI website, October 1 and 2 are bank holidays for Half Yearly Closing of Bank Accounts and Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti respectively.
Potential impact of strike on banking operations
"The officers in the banking industry have the password and key for computers, due to which lots of people won't be able to work, said Uttagi on the potential impact of the bank strike.
"Similarly if they don't had over cash to the ATM cashier, which would impact on-site ATMs and offsite ATMs might face a problem of refilling cash because the strike will impact five days," added Uttagi on the impact of the strike on ATMs.
Not all banks to be affected
Private sector bank might not be as affected as public sector banks. "Old generation private banks will be affected, not new generation like after 1985, for example ICICI, HDFC, Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank," said Uttagi
"While bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to some extent by the strike," said State Bank of India (SBI) in its regulatory filing on September 16, 2019.
Strike on October 22
Additionally, two other bank employees unions - All India bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have said that they proposed to go on strike from 6 a.m. on October 22 to 6 a.m. on October 23 against the bank mergers.