After overworking post note ban, bank employees seek exemption from poll duty
“We have written to the EC that to engage the employees for the election duty now would be unfair,” said Avnish Khosla, member, BEFI.india Updated: Jan 10, 2017 00:44 IST
Public sector bank employees — who have not only worked extra hours but also on weekends and holidays to meet the surge in customer demand owing to demonetisation — have expressed their unwillingness to be deputed as polling or presiding officers for the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
While the Bank Employees Federation of India (Punjab) has already written to the Election Commission (EC) seeking exemption from the election duty, other bank unions are also likely to follow suit.
Unions said they should be roped in only in case of extreme staff crunch. “We will seek exemption from the election duty... our employees have been under pressure for the past two months. They should be deputed only if it is absolutely necessary,” CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Banks’ Employees Association told HT.
“We have written to the EC that to engage the employees for the election duty now would be unfair,” said Avnish Khosla, member, BEFI.
After Prime minister Narendra Modi’s sudden decision to withdraw all high currency denomination notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 on November 8, “bankers have worked tirelessly” to keep up with the demand of the customers. As the move led to acute shortage of cash, bank employees were even attacked by agitated customers at several places. The employees and unions also sought police protection especially in the remote areas.
Many banks are yet to clear the overtime dues of their employees, sources said.
While bank officials worked overtime, many indulged in money laundering. “After working overtime, the entire banking community was branded dishonest, which is demotivating,” Venkatachalam said.