Mumbai: In a communication issued to all its zonal headquarters the State Bank of India (SBI) said that only "its own employees" and not those, who were employees of the erstwhile associate banks (E-Ab) were supposed to get the money for extra work during note-ban window from it.
Banking staff worked overtime post-demonetisation to meet the demands of long queues of people waiting to exchange old notes with the new ones and maintain working with bare minimum cash supply.
The bank staff had been promised "overtime compensation" by the employer banks for the "extra hours" they worked post-demonetisation.
The 70,000 officers and employees of the banks including State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur - all these banks that merged with the SBI on April 1, 2017 - are in a fix as the SBI asked them to return back the "compensation" they had received for the extra work.
In the internal memo sent to all its zonal banks the SBI said that as the erstwhile associate banks had not merged with the SBI at the time of demonetisation, the responsibility to pay the staff compensation for overtime lies with the five employer banks and not the SBI. These five banks were autonomous entities back then, the SBI argues.
"The claim related to the period prior to the merger of e-Abs (erstwhile associate banks) should have been dealt by e-Abs at the material time and we have no record of any commitment to pay the same", the SBI said.
The SBI said that the instructions issued earlier this year for payment of compensation was only in respect of those, who worked in SBI branches.
The "recovery order" issued by the SBI has made bank employees' unions upset. The unions claimed that the SBI order was totally unfair as a merger automatically means a takeover of both the assets and liabilities of the merging entities.
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