Time and again people in power, especially in Public Sector Banks, tend to go overboard and issue circulars / statements totally unbecoming of the office and the position they hold. No one can forget the “Navratri Celebration Dress Code” circular issued by the General Manager of Union Bank of India in 2021, mandating all employees of the bank to adhere to the dress colour specified in the colourful circular for each of the nine days failing which a fine of Rs.200 per day per employee would be levied. Bizarre instructions of uploading the group photo on all days by all branches was also issued. Due to the spontaneous resistance by Trade Unions and many Parliamentarians, the Management of Union Bank of India was forced to withdraw the controversial and ridiculous circular, which surprisingly, was supported by some right wing hardliners. This is a classic example of arrogance of power and all through the years we have witnessed many such instances of people with power going overboard only to be reined in by the evervigilant Trade Unions.
on 21.04.2023, HRMD, Circle Office, Amritsar, of Punjab National Bank, , has issued a circular to all branches NOT to allow Union people into any of its branches and offices during business hours which they term as a hindrance in the Branch Working. This authoritarian circular advises Branch Heads to ensure no Union representative is allowed to visit branches for any Union activity.
It is common knowledge that Union representatives go on branch visits, periodically, to meet their members and listen to their grievances, if any, and try to sort out issues on the spot, if possible, or take up issues with higher ups in a time bound manner. Apart from this they interact with the Branch Head and try to resolve issues pertaining to the development of the branch by discussing the same with the concerned authorities. The branch visits by Union representatives are seen as an opportunity to personally air their grievances by the members and most of the Branch Heads are quite pleased to have them in their premises for a friendly and informal discussion of issues personal and official. And Union leaders utilise these branch visits also to prepare their members to wholeheartedly participate in all Trade Union activities.
As such the controversial, authoritarian and arrogant circular by the Amritsar Circle Management of Punjab National Bank needs to be condemned in unequivocal terms, by all concerned,unitedly, which should emerge as warning to people at the helm of affairs to think twice before indulging in such anti-employee and anti-trade union activity. This circular should be withdrawn immediately.