The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has requested the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to extend its standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines to deal with Covid-19 pandemic to stakeholders such as business correspondents and contract employees working for the banks.

CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA, said business correspondents, contract employees, jewel appraisers, deposit collectors and temporary employees have been kept out of the purview of any of the guidelines even though they are part and parcel of the banking system, though not at par with the regular permanent employees. “The virus does not discriminate between regular employees and these employees, therefore, the management and the IBA cannot be silent on their sufferings and difficulties. They do deserve fair treatment in the present circumstances,” Venkatachalam said in a letter to IBA.

The Association said it has information that some of the banks do not even provide basic emergency supplies such as masks and sanitisers to these employees and they are purchasing the same from their own pockets.

Handling rush

Meanwhile, the United Forum of Bank Unions (Maharashtra State) Convenor Devidas Tuljapurkar requested the Maharashtra Government to deploy adequate police personnel at bank branches, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, so that customers’ entry is regulated.

“We would like to bring to your notice that at various places, bank branches are facing huge rush at the counters,” Tuljapurkar said in a letter to the State Chief Minister.

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