Protesting against the vindictive transfers, employees of listed Central Bank of India began their two-day strike on Monday, said a top official from the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).
The all-India strike call was given by five unions in the bank.
“As per Bipartite Settlement, clerical employees of Banks can be transferred from one station to another only in case there is surplus staff in a station and there is corresponding deficit and shortage in another station. Other than this, employees are transferred within the same station from one branch to another,” said C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA.
“Violating this Settlement, Central Bank management in April 2022, transferred 3,300 employees. These orders were illegal,” he added.
The Labour Commissioner and the Assistant Labour Commissioner advising the Central Bank of sort out the issue amicably and till then maintain status quo as per Sec. 33 of Industrial Disputes Act, Venkatachalam said.
Despite that, the General Manager, Human Resource Development, Central Bank issued instructions to violate the Industrial Disputes Act and not to hold back any transfer order, said Venkatachalam.
Hence United Forum of Bank Unions gave a call for strike on May 30-31, 2022.
On May 24, at a conciliation meeting in Mumbai held by the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner the Bank, management agreed to re-transfer employees who make a representation.
“972 employees, including about 250 lady employees, made their representations. For one reason or the other, the management was not willing to implement its commitment,” Venkatachalam said.
After waiting for more than 3 months, the five unions in the Central Bank gave the call for strike on September 19-20 demanding implementation of the agreement of May 24 and to rectify the violations.
According to Venkatachalam, the bank management was adamant on their position and on the meeting held on September 18 the top management that employees who have been transferred cannot be transferred back to their erstwhile station.
“It is clear and obvious that management wants freedom to transfer employees from one station to another. They are ready to violate the Bipartite Settlement. They are ready to violate the Industrial Disputes Act,” Venkatachalam remarked.