Banks will function with 50% staff

New guidelines issued after unions’ strike call against earlier decision

All bank branches and offices in Tamil Nadu will function with 50% staff, on a rotational basis, as per new guidelines issued by the State Level Bankers’ Committee-Tamil Nadu on Friday.

The Committee has amended its previous guidelines, issued on July 31, which said all bank branches/offices in the State shall function with 100% staff, under normal working hours, rendering usual services.

The amendment comes after unions objected to the Committee’s earlier decision to operate with 100% staff and threatened to go on strike.

“Since the instruction issued on July 31 was not in conformity with the standard operating procedure/government guidelines and since public transport facility still remains withdrawn and the number of bank employees getting affected has been increasing, the Tamil Nadu Bank Employees’ Federation (TNBEF), affiliated to the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), served a notice for a State-wide strike on August 20, demanding revised guidelines,” according to a statement by the union.

On August 11, V. Muthu Manickam, Deputy Chief Labour Lommissioner of the Ministry of Labour, Government of India intervened, and held a conciliation meeting. After listening to the submission made by TNBEF/AIBEA, Mr. Manickam categorically clarified that all banks were bound by the guidelines issued the government, and hence, managements were advised to revise the guidelines and restrict the attendance of staff to 50%, the statement read.

To a complaint that even pregnant employees were not being exempted from attending office, managements clarified that such employees were being exempted as per their instructions, and Mr. Manickam informed that the norm should be strictly implemented and any violation of the same could be raised with the authorities. Action would be taken against such violations, he said. Managements assured him that they would ensure that all pregnant employees are exempted from attending office.

He advised the managements to issue revised instructions, restricting attendance to 50% of staff, and inform him of the same by August 14 noon.

Following the revised instructions, the union has withdrawn its call for strike.

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