Thiruvananthapuram, June 3:
The All-India IDBI Bank Contract Employees Federation has called for a strike on June 16 in protest against the bank’s decision to retrench outsourced employees in various offices and branches.
According to sources, the bank’s decision is part of the measures of ‘rationalising operating costs‘ to restrict outsourced employees in relation to the ‘square feet size’ of branch premises.
The decision would affect the lives of up to 10,000 outsourced employees and their families, the sources said.
These employees have been attending to omnibus support functions in the bank which are regular, perennial and incidental to various jobs without break for periods more than 10 years.
The Federation has already notified its decision to and moved the Chief Labour Commissioner under the Ministry of Labour and Employment in New Delhi.
In this context, the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), Kochi, will hold conciliatory proceedings with all concerned at Kochi on June 12.
Notices have been sent to the General Manager, Corporate Office, Mumbai, and Regional Heads at Kozhikode and Kochi, IDBI Bank, and president of the Kerala unit of the Employees Federation.
The decision to effect large-scale retrenchment of these employees is arbitrary and impugned, says Adhir Kumar Ray, General-Secretary of the Employees Federation.
IDBI Bank had issues a circular to all heads of branches/offices in terms of which the maximum number of outsourced employees to be deployed is sought to be ‘quantified and restricted.’
This is sought to be done in relation to the ‘square-feet area’ size of the branch premises. This will effectively retrench thousands of outsourced employees depriving them of their livelihood, Ray said.
The Federation has already written to the Managing & CEO of the bank urging him to review the decision. Since there has been no reply, it is constrained to issue the call for strike.
Ray said that the contract employees have been attending to the duties of sweeper, pantry, security personnel, peon, cash peon, cash sorter, scanning of cheques, messenger, and despatch, among others.
These support functions are assigned and attended to by regular employees in the subordinate cadre in all other public sector banks.
But IDBI Bank has opted the outsourced model for the ‘supra’ regular support functions for stated purposes of economy of cost, Ray said.
All these outsourced employees are deployed through contractors working in the bank’s premises under the direct control and supervision of branch officials.
The bank’s decision comes at a time when there has been no augmentation of outsourced staff commensurate with increasing operations, severely impacting normal its operations, Ray said.
(This article was published on June 3, 2017)
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