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Union seeks transport, police protection for bank staff

Anticipating a sudden and huge crowd in bank branches following the announcement of various measures by the government on Friday, the AIBEA said since the number of employees in bank branches are very few, the crowds can pose a big risk for the bank staff as well as for the customers who might be visiting in large numbers.

The bank employees association has sought necessary transportation of its staff to bank branches after government announced various relief measures for citizens affected by the coronavirus lockdown. The association also sought police protection saying these relief measures may lead to large number of customers rushing to the banks.

The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said that the move will create sudden and huge crowd in the branches and since the number of employees in these branches are very few, the crowd can pose a big risk for the bank staff as well as for the customers who might be visiting in large numbers.

With the prime minister announcing the national-level lockdown and public transportation being stopped in most of the cities, many employees are unable to attend office.

Restricting the banking business hours to four hours, alternate day attendance and working from home, etc, are helpful to the banks and staff to somehow manage in these adverse circumstances, said C H Venkatachalam, general secretary of AIBEA in a statement issued.

The announcement of various measures under the different government schemes by the government on Friday is bound to result in a sudden increase in crowds at those branches, especially in the rural and semi-urban branches. The number of employees in these branches are very few and it would be next to impossible to manage the anxious customers.

“There is a big risk for the bank staff as well as for the customers who are inside the bank premises in large number and this would go totally against the objective of social distancing and increase the risk of infection. Bank employees are very scared and feel highly apprehensive about such an imminent possibility and eventuality,” he said.

The association sought that the bank managements should ensure necessary transportation for the staff to reach the branches where they do not have their own vehicles; police/security personnel are provided in front of the branches to regulate the crowding customers and allow them inside the premises one by one, such customers are provided with proper sanitizing liquid, etc, before entering the premises; bank managements provide additional staff on deputation in such branches on the days of disbursements; and the beneficiaries are staggered and not allowed to come to the branches on a single day.

“We are sure that the government and the IBA/bank managements will take the above into account and ensure necessary arrangements as above so that employees can extend their best co-operation and we can avoid industrial disputes, conflicts and tensions. Kindly treat this as important and on priority,” he added in a letter addressed to the secretary of department of financial services, Union ministry of finance.

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