Bank Unions Urge Kerala Government To Close Branches In Triple Lockdown Areas

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Kochi | Updated on July 07, 2020 Published on July 07, 2020

United Forum of Bank Unions has urged the Kerala Chief Minister to close bank branches functioning in triple lockdown areas and containment zones so as to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The government should also take into account the practical difficulty being faced by customers and employees to reach the branches, said CD Josson, convenor, UFBU.

He charged that the administration in several districts is least bothered about the functioning of bank branches in the pandemic-induced situation and are forcing branches to function with normal working hours even in containment zones. Such orders assume significance at a time when the Government is asking the common man to remain at home and come out only if essential, he said.

In the initial orders, banks were included in the list of offices to be closed. Later the order was modified so that banks are to function with minimum staff, he said adding that almost all other offices are closed in containment zones and banks are the only exception.

According to him, SLBC advisories as well as the State government orders issued so far compel banks to function with a full complement of staff with full working hours extending all types of activities. This naturally increases the footfall in the branches, thereby causing great risk to employees as well as customers.

UFBU requested the authorities to issue necessary instructions and keep the bank branches open from 10 am to 2 pm throughout the State with 33 per cent workforce on a rotation basis as also to declare Saturdays as holidays till the situation improves.

Bank employees were exempted from Covid anti-body test. The Union had been representing the same and recently SLBC communicated that bank employees are also included in the random tests. The direction is yet to see the light of the day, he said.

Published on July 07, 2020