Employees of government-run banks who worked in extended shifts for days soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of old currency notes on November 8 have threatened to launch a strike and take legal actions if their employers don’t clear their overtime dues. At various places, these bank employees had worked for around 14 hours in a day and also their leaves were cancelled to handle the note ban rush in the banks. According to a report by Hindustan Times, there are as many as 4 lakh bank employees who put in extra hours and are yet to get additional pay and overtime.
As per banking norms, an employee is likely to get overtime amount somewhere between Rs 100 to Rs 300 for every extra hour they have worked. Speaking to Hindustan Times, CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All India Banks’ Employees Association (AIBEA) said that the issue has been taken up with the Central government and if they might go on a strike or take legal actions if the issue does not gets resolved on a priority basis. Venkatachalam also stated that none of the banks have cleared the overtime dues of their staffers.
He also said that it is a long-standing pact between bank employees and employers that there would be extra pay for extra hours. The report also stated that the issue was brought to the notice of finance minister Arun Jaitley and is likely to be discussed in the next meeting with the labour ministry. “We are yet to understand why banks are not paying the overtime dues to employees who are eligible for overtime dues… this pulls down the morale of the employees,” another Union member told HT.
The Narendra Modi government’s decision to ban old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes wiped out 86 per cent of the currency in circulation which caused a nationwide rush as lakhs of people gathered up in the banks to get their scrapped currency exchanged for legal tender.