New Delhi: Banking operations and ATM services will be severely affected as thousands of employees will go on a day-long nationwide general strike on Wednesday. The bank strike is part of the Bharat Bandh called by 10 Central trade unions to protest against the labour reforms and economic policies of the Central government.

The main demand of the central trade unions is that the Centre should drop the proposed labour reforms in the country. The development comes as the Centre recently passed a bill and proposed to merge 44 labour laws into four codes — wages, industrial relations, social security, and safe working conditions.

Meanwhile, the Central government has warned its employees not to join in the protest and said those who join will face actions.

In a missive circular issued to all central government departments, the Central government said existing instructions prohibit a government servant from participating in any form of strike including mass casual leave etc.

The circular from the Centre comes as the Supreme Court has also agreed in several judgements that going on a strike is a grave misconduct under the rules and that misconduct by the government employees is required to be dealt with in accordance with law.

The bank unions have decided to join in the protest against the Central government’s banking reforms and mega-merger of PSU banks.

The banking sectors also demand a pay hike besides a uniform five-day week. The 10 central trade unions that call for the protest include INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC. Over 25 crore people will join their nationwide strike call in protest against the economic policies of the government.

On the other hand, the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) has issued a circular asking members to not demand nor accept any keys on Wednesday. They have also been asked to not perform any clerical duties and join the protest.

AIBEA, All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF) and Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC) are joining in the protest.