The Workmen Unions in Central Bank of India affiliated to AIBEA, INBEF, BEFI, NCBE & NOBW have given a joint call for 2 days’ All India strike on 30th & 31st May, 2022 against the vindictive transfers of thousands of clerks, intended closure of 600 branches by the Management of Central Bank of India (CBI) and privatisation move of the Government of India
Central Bank of India is one of the oldest public sector banks in our country. Due to the wrong policies adopted by the top management, this Bank has been put under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by Reserve Bank of India. At a time when all round support and co-operation are required from all sections of the employees for making a turnaround, the management has resorted to various unfair labour practices.
There exists a bi-lateral mobility policy for the workmen. Totally disregarding the existing deployment policy, the management has unilaterally and vindictively transferred more than 4000 Clerks from one centre to another without any rhyme or reason. These include physically challenged employees, women employees, senior employees on the verge of retirement etc. It clearly exhibits the inhuman mindset and attitude of the top management of the Bank as this move would destabilize more than 4000 families. It is unheard of in the history of the CBI and it has sent shock waves among the employees. This vindictive and anti-labour action of the CBI management had caused wide spread anger and resentment among the employees of the bank. Immediately the Workmen Unions had taken up the matter with the Management stating that such type of mass transfers will be in violation of both bank level and industry level settlements; further it is totally unwarranted and therefore has to be put on hold. However, management did not heed to the joint representation made by the Workmen Unions and went ahead with its sinister move. Aggrieved of this negative approach and anti-employee attitude of the management, an Industrial Dispute was raised before the RLC / ALC at various States. The Labour Commissioners have also invoked Section 33 of the Industrial Disputes Act and advised the management of CBI to maintain status quo.
However, the management gave scant regard to the orders of the Labour Commissioners and went ahead with their action and advised all the Zonal and Regional Offices to immediately relieve all the clerks on 7.5.2022 itself. Further, the employees were threatened that any unauthorized absence on the day of relieving would be treated as break-in service which might affect the pension of the employee. It is to be noted that there is no such clause in our Pension Regulation and thus the management of CBI has crossed all its limits.
Further the management had resorted to outsourcing of cash movement to and fro from their Currency Chests in violation of the industry-wide bi-partite settlement dated 2.6.2005. Moreover acute shortage of Clerks, Sub-staff is witnessed in the Bank due to which the workload of the existing workmen gets increased. Also the management of CBI resorts to close down nearly 600 branches in the name of unviability. This defeats the very purpose of functioning of the public sector banks. There is a concerted move by the Government of India to privatize two public sector banks, to start with.
In order to counter all these attacks unleased by the management of CBI and the Government of India and to safe guard the hard earned rights, the Workmen Unions in Central Bank of India affiliated to AIBEA, INBEF, BEFI, NCBE & NOBW have formed United Forum of Central Bank Unions and called for 2 days all India strike on 30th & 31st May, 2022. Prior to that they have also announced various preparatory programmes.
The present anti-labour attitude of the management of Central Bank of India cannot be seen in isolation. Definitely without the tacit support of the Government at the centre, the management of the public sector bank will not resort to implementing such type of anti-employees’ policies. The government wants to curb the legitimate trade union activities and curtail all the hard earned rights of the employees and impose its own policy of privatization of public sector banks. The call for joint struggle including strike has given a renewed confidence among the workmen that the nefarious actions of the management can be defeated. The success of the strike programme will re-establish the power of the work force and protect the hard won rights of the employees.