They are not included in list of essential services by State govt
The resumption of suburban train services in Mumbai has caused a major controversy, with bank staff being denied access as they are not included in the list of essential services by the State government.
When the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March by the Centre, banking was a part of the essential services.
Bank unions have written to the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), asking them to take up the matter with relevant authorities so that employees can avail the train services.
“On one side, government expects banks to extend uninterrupted service even during lockdown since it is essential but when it comes to extending life cover or local train facilities they are not considered as essential, which is disturbing,” the Union Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) – the umbrella body of nine bank unions — said in a letter to IBA.
“This has led to anger and anguish among the employees and for these obvious reasons it is likely to affect on attendance and banking services. In view of this we request you to please intervene in the matter by representing to the appropriate authorities to include banking in essential services to extend local railway travel facility to bank employees,” the letter, addressed to the chief executive of the IBA, said.
Local trains for essential service workers such as health, civic and police personnel started from Monday morning. Ticket windows were opened for commuters, but passes issued only to those who furnished a government identity card.
Earlier, the bank unions had demanded transport facility and implementation of safety measures to bank staff as at least 11 employees lost their lives due to the deadly virus in Mumbai and surrounding areas. A majority of the employees working in Mumbai city are staying in suburbs or outside and many are travelling from beyond city limits.
State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, has temporarily shut three branches — two in Mumbai and one in Thane — after eight staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
(With inputs from thehindu)