New Delhi: Bank unions have proposed a two-day strike on September 26 and 27 as a mark of protest against the BJP-led government’s decision to merge 10 public sector banks into four.

In case the strike against mega public sector banks merger plan materialises, the banking services will be severely hit for four days, stated a report. Notably, on September 20, the nine bank employee unions of the ‘United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU)’ staged a dharna outside the Parliament to oppose the government’s bank merger plan. Further, the nationalised banks across the nation will hold another indefinite strike from the second week of November this year to press for their demands, added a union leader.

Voicing forth their demands, the bank unions have asked for an immediate introduction of a five-day week in full, reduction of cash transaction hours and regulation in working hours.

The proposed consolidation of the public sector banks was announced by the central government on August 30. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August had said that the aim of the bank merger plan is to create fewer and stronger global-sized lenders with robust balance sheets. In an official statement, the UFBU said, “We oppose the merger of 10 PSBs into four banks, as announced by the Finance Minister Sitharaman, and have decided to hold a dharna before Parliament on September 20.”

While Punjab National Bank will take over Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India, Syndicate Bank will take over Canara Bank. Similarly, Union Bank of India will merge with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank; and Indian Bank with Allahabad Bank.

The number of state-run banks will come down from 27 banks in 2017 to just 12 banks after the merger.