Bank unions are postponing planned strike action at the bank and state levels

The bank employees’ unions have decided to postpone the planned bank and state level strike actions from December 4-11, 2023 and January 2-6, 2024, respectively, as the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is believed to have agreed to their demand to comply with a comprehensive, uniform policy guideline for the assessment and recruitment of workers.

However, the unions’ call for an all-India strike on January 19 and 20, 2024 remains.

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At a conciliation meeting before the Chief Labor Commissioner (CLC), the unions said that the number of employees had fallen dramatically in recent years due to inadequate recruitment, which had led to excessive workload on existing staff, which had impacted on customer service, said CH Venkatachalam , General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).

“We explained the difficulties faced by employees who were denied leave due to staff shortages in stores.

“We have also brought to their attention instances where employees have faced the wrath of disgruntled customers who were not provided with adequate customer service,” he said.

KS Krishna, general secretary, All India SBI Employees’ Association, said despite a significant increase in business volume and number of customers, accounts, products and expansion of services, the management has not addressed the issue of staff shortage.

“Customer service is compromised, workload and work pressure on employees and managers increases and workplace harmony is disrupted, resulting in an imbalance between work and personal life,” he said.

As far as award staff is concerned, between the end of March 2017 and the end of March 2022 there was a reduction of 55,000 positions in office staff, 21,800 in support staff and 17,200 in part-time positions, in addition to 18,500 civil servants in public sector banks.

“The standard argument from policymakers is that staffing needs decrease with the introduction of new technologies… If this argument is true, then why are bank managements increasing the number of business correspondents, trainees and contract workers through subsidiaries? said Krishna.

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Sybil Alvarez

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