Banking, transportation, and other services are likely to be disrupted during Bharat Bandh on March 28 and 29. The decision follows a March 22 convention at which trade unions announced their opposition to the Centre’s anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people, and anti-national policies.
A combined forum of central trade unions, supported by the All India Bank Employees Association, has called for a statewide strike on March 28 and 29 to protest the Central government’s policies impacting employees, farmers, and people in general.
The decision follows a conference on March 22 at which trade unions declared their intention to protest the Centre’s “anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people, and anti-national policies.” Bank unions are protesting the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.
According to a trade union statement, road workers, transportation employees, and energy workers have all opted to join the strike. The railway and defence unions would mass mobilise in favour of the strike at hundreds of locations, according to the statement. Workers from other industries, including coal, steel, oil, telecommunications, postal, income tax, copper, and insurance, are likely to join the walkout.
The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has warned that the walkout could disrupt financial services. “We advise that, while the bank has made essential provisions to guarantee normal functioning in its branches and offices on strike days, it is possible that activity in our bank may be hampered to a limited level,” SBI said in a regulatory filing.
The nationwide strike, however, will have little impact in West Bengal because the government issued an order stating that all offices would remain open and staff would be required to go to work. “In light of several trade unions’ requests for a 48-hour nationwide strike/bandh on March 28 and 29, all state government offices will stay open, and employees are expected to report for duty on those days.” “Leaves shall be classified as ‘dies-non,’ and no salary will be paid,” the instruction stated.