Banks’ union urges Kerala CM to restrict bank timings, initiate rapid antigen test on employees

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 03, 2020

Fearing that bank branches/ offices will become hubs for the spread of Covid-19 in Kerala, a trade union has requested the State authorities to restrict bank timings, advise customers to enter bank premises only for essential transactions and urgently initiate necessary steps to conduct rapid antigen tests on all bank employees.

The All Kerala Bank Employees’ Federation, in a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said that bank branches have become highly vulnerable and that employees are working earnestly in a very precarious condition when asymptomatic cases are on the rise.

CD Josson, General Secretary, said in the letter, “We have, time and again, represented to your initiate and implement appropriate measures to increase the safety and precaution of bank branches in the interests of customers and employees and also to take necessary steps not to make Bank Branches/offices centres of spread of Covid 19.”

He added, “...The number of bank employees getting infected by the virus in the workplace is rising. This is causing much anxiety and worry among the employees and their families.”

The Federation appealed to State authorities to urgently initiate necessary steps to conduct rapid antigen tests on all bank employees in the State irrespective of clusters or containment zones.

“As bank employees are more prone to have close contact with public at large, we submit that the tests are to be conducted in a time bound manner at the earliest,” said Josson.

Among the suggestions made by the Federation include restricting bank timings from 10 a.m to 2 p.m across the State, with employees attendance restricted to maximum of 50 per cent; advising customers that they enter Bank premises only for essential transactions and not for any enquiry purposes; deferring holding of settlement adalats at branches or the same could be held at appropriate places adhering to Covid-19 protocols.

Published on August 03, 2020

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