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Two-day strike in Central Bank of India a success : AIBEA

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Hyderabad: The two-day nation-wide strike in Central Bank of India, which began on Monday in protest against the management’s flouting settlements and law with vindictive mass transfers, was a ‘total success’ with enthusiastic participation by workmen employees, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said on Tuesday.

The strike was called by United Forum of Central Bank Unions (UFCBU) consisting of five unions in Central Bank of India affiliated to AIBEA, INBEF, BEFI, NCBE and NOBW.

AIBEA General Secretary Ch Venkatachalam in a release said about 10,000 clerical and subordinate staff participated in the strike.

He said since Officers Association are not affected by these transfers, they did not join the strike and hence branches were kept open but workmen employees did not took part in the Bank work.

The UFCBU will now meet and decide further programames to press our demands. We thank all our members in Central Bank for making the strike a success, he added.

As per Bipartite Settlement, clerical employees of Banks can be transferred from one station to another only in case there is surplus staff in a station and there is corresponding deficit and shortage in another station. Other than this, employees are transferred within the same station from one branch to another.

Violating this Settlement, Central Bank management, in April 2022, transferred 3,300 employees. These orders were illegal. Hence All India Central Bank Employees Federation approached the Labour Commissioner, Chennai, Mr Venkatachalam said.

The Assistant Labour Commissioner, Chennai advised the Bank to sort out the issue amicably and till then it should maintain status quo as per Sec. 33 of Industrial Disputes Act. However, the General Manager-HRD issued instructions to violate the I D Act and not to hold back any transfer order.

In view of this, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) gave a call for strike on May 30 and 31, 2022.

However, on May 24, 2022, Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC), Mumbai held a conciliation meeting and advised the Bank to resolve the issue amicably.

In the meeting held with the Bank, management agreed to re-transfer employees who make a representation. About 972 employees including 250 lady employees, made their representations. For one reason or the other, the management was not willing to implement its commitment, the AIBEA General Secretary said.

After waiting for more than three months, UFCBU gave the call for the strike yesterday and today demanding implementation of the agreement of May 24, 2022 and to rectify the violations.

The Dy. CLC, Mumbai held a conciliation meeting on September 16, 2022 and again gave advice to the management to resolve the issue amicably. The Management held discussion with the Union but did not agree to honour its commitment.

Mr Venkatachalam said on September 17 too, the discussion continued but management maintained their adamant approach. On the next day, again a discussion took place with top management, he said the Management insisted that employees who have been transferred cannot be transferred back to their erstwhile station.

It is clear and obvious that management wants freedom to transfer employees from one station to another. They are ready to violate the Bipartite Settlement and the I D Act. They are bent upon on vindictively transferring the employees, the top union leader said.

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