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Retired employees join bank staff protest

Two days after bank employees participated in a strike called by 10 central-government affiliated trade unions, hundreds of retired bank employees from the city agitated against the government and banks’ ignorance towards their demands.

They staged a dharna in Azad Maidan on Friday and asked the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to look into their demands at the earliest. It was part of a nation-wide protest going on since December 15. Similar agitations have taken place in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.

Their demands include discussions on revising and updating pension. “The pension has not been revised in a long time. A person who retired as General Manager in 2000 and a clerk who retired in 2012 receive the same pension. In so many years, the pension has not been updated, whereas it should happen periodically just the way the salaries are increased for employees. It has been 24 years since the pension was fixed for retirees and it has remained the same,” said Shekhar Kadam, state secretary, Coordination of Bank Pensioners’ and retirees’ organisation.

Apart from revision of pension, the employees have also demanded that IBA hold timely discussions with retirees to understand their troubles, an increase in the family pension and a full reimbursement of medical insurance premium. According to the representatives of the retirees, the family receives only 15% pension after the death of the retired employee. “That is a very meagre amount and it must be increased,” said Prakash Patki, vice-president, All India Bank Retirees Federation.

With insufficient pensions, retirees are also unable to pay premium for their medical insurance. “The bank officials must look into this so that retirees don’t face trouble,” said Mr. Patki.

A delegation met officials of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) late on Friday afternoon. They have also threatened to go on a hunger strike if their demands are not met.

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