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Bank employees on two-day strike from Wednesday.

Mumbai: Banking services such as cheque clearing may get disrupted for two days beginning Wednesday with the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine employee unions, threatening a strike.

Employees of 27 public sector banks, 12 private lenders and eight foreign banks will stay off work to protest the government’s decision to pass an amendment to the banking laws bill, expected to come up for discussion in Parliament on Wednesday, according to C.H. Venkatachalam, convenor of UFBU.

The unions claim the proposed legislation will promote privatization of Indian state-run banks and give more powers to foreign investors and Indian corporations in the running of private banks.

They are also against the Khandelwal committee’s recommendations for introducing variable pay in public sector banks and 50% direct recruitment of bank officers from the market.

The Indian Banks Association, an industry lobby of lenders, said banks will save up to Rs. 400 crore in terms of wages to the striking employees.

The unions decided to strike work after a meeting with the chief labour commissioner in Delhi on Tuesday ended inconclusive.

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