Gao Bank

Goa bank employees to go on agitation, demands COVID-19 safe office

Gao BankGoa Bank Employees’ Association (GBEA) has announced agitation from September 1 demanding COVID-19 safe working places alleging that there is no response from the concerned authorities to their request to provide a safe working environment to the Bank staff.

GBEA said that it has decided to protest against “Unsafe Workplaces”, “SLBC’s apathy” and “unhelpful attitude”. The Central Committee of GBEA will soon finalize the agitational programme including strike action, it said.

“The number of COVID-19 infected employees in Goa and in the banks is going up significantly. All the Bank employees, particularly, the front line staff is exposed and vulnerable to the virus. Bank employees come in contact with hundreds of customers daily in the course of daily routine duties,” GBEA said in a statement.

GBEA alleged that State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) which the designated authority for banks in Goa, is not implementing the Standards Operating Procedures (SOP) of government guidelines and norms on containment measures and hence making workplaces vulnerable.

“The Banks’ managements are not bothered about maintaining social distancing norms for employees at work or for customers visiting branches, maintaining the supply of protective tools to employees at work, regular sanitizing of the branches. Even, employees belonging to exempt category (as per MHA norms) such as female employees in the family way, lactating women employees, employees with disabilities (PWD), employees with serious ailments, employees having co-morbidities are forced to attend duties,” GBEA said.

“In many states, their respective SLBCs have introduced various measures to contain the contagion such as only 5 days working, 50 per cent staff attendance on a rotation basis, regulated business hours, etc. in addition to implementing and adhering to all the norms of MHA. However, SLBC, Goa has totally ignored the ground realities and exposed the bank staff to the mercy of God,” it added.

The least we expect from the Banks’ management is to provide the bank staff with safe working places by adhering to all SOP of the Government as well as putting in place additional measures to contain the contagion based on the ground realities,” it said.

Goa on Sunday reported 209 new COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 13,999 including 3,383 active cases, 10,472 recovered cases and 144 deaths.