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Kerala: Temporary Bank Employees Demand Wage Revision, March to Raj Bhavan

The BTEF has urged the authorities concerned to ensure thatthe outcome of UFBU’srecent bipartite settlement with IBA is extended to temporary employees.
bank employees

T P Ramakrishnan, MLA, state president of CITU Kerala unit,at the dharna of temporary bank employees in front of Raj Bhavan. (Pic Credit: BEFI Kerala)

Temporary bank employees, under the banner of the Bank Temporary Employees Federation (BTEF), held a march to Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, demanding permanent jobs and implementation of wage revision as per the 12th bipartite settlement recently agreed upon by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and Indian Banks Association (IBA).

Hundreds of temporary, contract and outsourced workers, despite threats from bank officials and contractors, joined the rally from different banking institutions, such asiReserve Bank of India, NABARD, public sector banks (PSB), new generation and private banks. 

The other major demands of BTEF include payment of wages for 30 days a month instead of only for the working days, as well as leave and maternity benefits on a par with permanent employees.

With around 75% of temporary workers being women, the lack of maternity leave benefits and other social welfare measures were affecting their livelihood, BTEF said. 

The BTEF, affiliated to the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), organised the march against the exploitation of the temporary, contract and daily wage workers by banks. 


The opening of new generation banks after the introduction of “neo-liberal policies” has given rise to casualisation of workers in the banking sector. The PSBs soon followed suit and introduced casual, daily wage and contract workers in several sections, leading to the fall in permanent jobs in the sectors, said BTEF.

The Kerala unit of the BEFI formed the BTEF in 2018 to raise issues regarding the suffering faced by workers in different banks. The first major protest, the Raj Bhavan march on December 19, was called to highlight these issues.

Initiating the protest, T P Ramakrishnan, MLA, state president of Centre of Trade Unions (CITU), extended solidarity to the protesting workers and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government of destroying public sector organisations and favouring the corporates. “The exploitation on multiple fronts should be defeated by sustained struggles”, he said. 

Speaking withNewsClick, K V George, BETF president, said, “Banks are either directly engaging daily wage workers or outsourcing the jobs to private entities. The major issue is the pro rata wage paid, irrespective of the experience of the worker, that too only for the working days”. 

The BTEF has claimed that several banks were refusing to pay the prescribed daily wage of Rs 768, adding that workers were being between Rs 400 to Rs 530 per day.  

Sanil Babu, BEFI general secretary, toldNewsClick, “Workers are literally at the mercy of the branch heads. They are made to wait till late in the evening to receive their wage, which is lower than the prescribed one. This exploitation happens in both PSBs and other banks”. 

Citing the prevailing situation in Canara Bank, Babu said, “The bank pays Rs 30,000 for an employee, while most of the contractors pay Rs 15,000. Even if another Rs 1,000 or Rs 1,500 is spent toward provident fund (PF) or employees state insurance (ESI), the employee gets around 60% of what is being paid to the contractors”. 

The BTEF has urged the Union government, Finance Ministry and bank managements to end the exploitation of workers, particularly women engaged in the peon and sweeper categories. 


With rampant casualisation of work in banks, temporary workers are bereft of any social welfare and security measures, leave benefits, including medical, casual and maternity leave. 

“Around 75% of the workers in daily wage, temporary and contract works are women. The uncertainty over the availability of jobs post-delivery is preventing them from having children. Such rights must be extended to the temporary workers as well”, George added. 

Recently, IBA and UFBU finalised the 12th bipartite settlement of wage revision, which is not applicable for temporary workers, while regular employees are entitled to a wage hike of 17% along with a load factor of 3%.

“The benefits of the bipartite settlements should be extended to temporary workers also. If the five-day banking week is implemented, the wages of temporary workers will further reduce. We demand that the workers must be provided wages for all the days in a month”, George said. 

The federation has also urged the principal employers to ensure that contractors payPF and ESI on a timely basis to ensure that the rights of the workers are not violated.

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