Mumbai: Nearly one million bank employees including private lenders have called for a day’s strike on December 26, Wednesday to protest against the proposed amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda.

In September this year, the government had announced the merger of state-owned Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, both under the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework of the RBI, with larger peer Bank of Baroda, creating the third-largest lender.

“This amalgamation is not in the interest of banks or bank customers. It is rather detrimental to both,” the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had said. The UFBU is an umbrella organisation of nine unions, including the All-India Bank Officers Confederation, the All- India Bank Employees Association and the National Organisation of Bank Workers, among others.

As per the unions, post-merger, a large number of branches will be closed and customers will have to face hardships as already banks are burdened with various government schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra, social security insurance, and PM’s housing scheme, among others.

On December 26, the unions will take out a rally and hold a demonstration at the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai. Around 3.20 lakh officers from various state-run banks were on a one-day strike on December 21, seeking immediate wage revision and opposing the proposed merger.

The nation-wide strike had partially impacted banking operations affecting services like deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearances and issuance of demand drafts, among others. Bank management has mandated the industry lobby Indian Bank Association (IBA) to negotiate for scale 1-3 but unions want this to be raised up to scale 7.