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This day 25 years ago: Bankmen & discipline

Whether it be the intimations of reforms or the realisation of the implications of competition in the form of more foreign banks the unions of bank employees have at last signed anew wage agreement which commits employees to an elementary code of discipline. This change of tune on the part of bank employees will be welcomed. There are rays of co-operation on the part of the employees in improving the working of the banks. Which, in other words is a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the unions that the employees have been indisciplined perfunctory and casual in their approach to work. While the unions connived at the gross violations of discipline, including “misbehaviour to customers”. They used their brute strength of numbers of extract wage concessions for their members.The banking sector had become a high-wage sector where employees could get away with indiscipline, malingering and featherbedding, not to say anything of plain refusal to be present in the office for the allotted duty hours.

The new wage agreement will entitle the employees to a 10 percent hike in wages, including higher medical and housing allowances. And some of these increases are applicable retrospectively. In return, for the first time, the agreement mentions a certain commitment to discipline by employees. The unions have agreed to see that every workman is present at his place of work and start work at the “notified time”.