In a bizarre note to the bank’s personnel services department, one of the zonal heads of the bank had requested to suspend salaries to employees in 11 branches in an apparent bid to punish them for non-performance.
The proposal was promptly shot down by the management, but it was enough to create noise and made employees panic.
There is no such provision to stop salary in case of non performance in public sector banks where salaries and increment are fixed through a bipartite settlement between banks and employee unions. Wage can be cut only in case of unauthorised absence like in bank strike days.
Uco Bank has been under Reserve Bank of India’s prompt corrective action (PCA) plan for making net losses for two successive financial years amid severe stress on asset quality.
The bank’s net losses widened to Rs 663 crore for the first quarter to June 30, awhile asset quality deteriorated to 19.87% of gross advances.
The proposal was to stop salaries in 11 prominent branches in Kolkata which failed to deliver in important aspects like lending and recovery of sticky loans.
ET has learnt the management has issued a note saying that stoppage of salary of all staff members in these 11 branches may not be prudent.
The management maintained that “non-performance can’t be accepted” and is holding review meetings in short intervals and monitoring the performance of every zone on regular basis.
The initial note from the zonal manager has led trade union leaders into action too.
“All the unions reacted immediately and the management also disapproved such move. But we have put everyone on alert and we are also remaining vigil that such unlawful punitive actions are not taken in future as well,” said Partha Chanda, secretary of All India Uco Bank Employees Federation.
“Few months back, all the unions of Uco Bank has formed a United Forum for taking positive and active role in the revival of the bank after PCA has been imposed and also to repulse any sort of attacks on the employees,” Chanda said when contacted.
Shares of Uco Bank closed at Rs 31.15 Friday, nearly 30% lower than its 52-week high of Rs 43.40 on BSE.
“This was a provocative and unauthorised decision which may affect motivation of the employees badly during the turnaround period of the bank,” said Rajen Nagar, president, All India Bank Employees Association.