Over 30 employees of banks died in 2nd wave in Guj: union

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Ahmedabad, Apr 19 (PTI) A prominent bank employees' union has claimed that nearly 15,000 employees of banks have tested positive for coronavirus in Gujarat so far and over 30 of them died during the 'second wave' in the last month.

In view of the current situation, the 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 Chief Minister Vijay Rupani seeking his intervention as the CM is the chairman of the State Level Banking Committee (SLBC).

In the letter, the 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, it said.

While over 30 staffers have succumbed to the infection in the last one month, the entire staff of some of the branches was found coronavirus positive, the letter said.

The union urged Rupani to announce some relaxations in view of the second wave of coronavirus.

'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,' it stated.

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 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.

Gujarat has so far recorded 4,15,972 coronavirus positive cases and 5,494 fatalities, as per the state health department. PTI PJT PD NSK NSK