About 1,300 bankers have succumbed to Covid-19 and the number went up drastically between February – May 2021, said a top official of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).
In a letter to Sunil Mehta, Chief Executive, Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), C.H.Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA said the deaths of bankers due to Covid-19 up to February 2021 was about 600 and has since gone up by 700 to 1,300 in the last two months.
“Our cry to treat bank employees under priority for vaccination was not taken seriously by the Government and now only some ‘requests’ are being sent to the State Governments,” Venkatachalam said.
“Bank employees feel ignored by the Government while they have been doing their duty and serving the people with all the risks,” he added.
Venkatachalam also said bank employees are facing innumerable problems in commuting to their branches/offices due to restrictions by the various State Governments through curfews, lockdown, withdrawal of public transport and others.
“Many employees and officers have faced humiliation, ill-treatment, manhandling, abuses, etc from the local police personnel while they were travelling to their branches or while on return,” he said.
He also urged IBA to convene a virtual meeting with the unions in the banking sector to elicit their views which can be conveyed to the state governments and State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) before they take any decision.
According to him, there is no uniformity in the guidelines of state governments and SLBCs in regulating the banking services in the pandemic situation.
Venkatachalam also urged IBA to release a weekly bulletin about the number of bank employees who are affected by Covid-19 virus, and the number of people who have lost their lives.