Rural Bank Employees in Odisha Raise Demands

A press conference was organised by AICCTU and Gramya Bank Asthai Karmachari Sangha (Gramya Banks’ Temporary Workers Association) at Nagbhusan Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on 23 December 2017. The conference was organised to raise the six-point demands of the workers’ union. The temporary staff had been working in the Gramya Banks, however when amalgamation of four banks led to the formation of Odisha Gramya Bank, the temporary workers demanded that they be appointed as permanent workers since they had been working in the bank since last twenty years. The bank authorities refused their demand and the workers union went to the High Court and got a stay order on the new posts. The bank authority retrenched 78 workers after the High court case. The 78 workers have been suffering a lot and in the last six months they joined with AICCTU to fight for this issue. The demands raised in the conference included- (i) reappointment of all the retrenched workers at their branches, (ii) provide EPF and ESI and Bonus of the last twenty years, (iii) retrenched workers should not be replaced (iv) pay Rs 335 per day as per the NABARD Guidelines and also the pay be enhanced to 500 per day as other rural banks are paying the same in the other states. It was declared that if the bank does not meet these demands then the workers begin an agitation from January 2018.