Over 30 bank employees died in COVID-19 second wave in Gujarat: Source

A prominent bank employees’ union has claimed that nearly 15,000 employees of banks have tested positive for Corona Virus in Gujarat so far, and over 30 of them died during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2021. To combat the present situation,  Maha Gujarat Bank Employees’ Association (MGBEA) has put forward several demands, such as reduced cash hours, extra holidays and relaxation in working hours.

The union, associated with the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), sent a letter to Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani seeking his intervention as the CM is the chairman of the State Level Banking Committee (SLBC). In the letter, MGBEA stated that around 50,000 bank employees are working in over 9,900 branches across Gujarat. Following some reports that the new strain of COVID-19 is airborne, employees are now afraid of entering the branch premises or interacting with customers. While over 30 staffers have succumbed to the infection in March, 2021, the entire staff of some of the branches was found Corona Virus positive. The union urged Rupani to announce some relaxations in view of the second wave of corona virus outbreak.

The letter stated, “To reduce human-to-human contact, banks should be allowed to deliver only essential services like cash deposit, withdrawal, transfer and clearing, so that less number of people visit bank branches.”

To reduce the exposure of staff to the public, the union also demanded that cash hours should be restricted between 10 am and 1 pm only, and employees should be allowed to go home after business hours. It also demanded that all Saturdays be declared as holidays for the next two months. If any staff member tests positive, the branch must be shut for at least 48 hours, the union demanded.

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