SBI staff to strike work against pruning of Foreign Dept

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Kolkata, Mar 13 (UNI) The SBI Officers' Association and Staff Association (West Bengal circles) have jointly called a strike in all the branches in the state on March 28.

The strike was called to protest the management's alleged move to abolish ''independent character'' of the Bank's Foreign Department in the city.

SBIOA and SBISA in a joint release today said the management had violated a tripartite agreement, 2000, providing share of Forex dealing (both Corporate and inter-Bank) on 50:50 basis between the Foreign Department, Kolkata, and Treasury, Mumbai.

But they claimed that the the agreement was violated to the advantage of Treasury, Mumbai.

The management in a tripartite meeting last year deposed that maintaining of 50:50 basis in forex dealing was not feasible and instead suggested that Foreign Department, Kolkata, may be entrusted with the job of handling inward Forex Remittances and the facilities avaiable there could be utilised for Desaster Management of Forex dealing.

The management had also assured the federations to sign a new agreement to replace the eight-year-old agreement.

SBIOA general secretary S K Haldar and his SBISA counterpart Ashok Datta claimed that the management instead of signing a new agreement had proposed to abolish the independent character of the Foreign Department, Kolkata, and rechristen it as ''Global Market Unit (GMU).

They alleged that the SBI was also contemplating to launch Inward Remittance Cell (IRC) in Mumbai by merging Global Link Serives (GLS) and remittances section of International Services Branch (RSB)-Mumbai.

The federation leaders said the management on the other hand had assured that the IRC was to be set up in Kolkata and Disaster Recovery Cell for Inward Remittance Cell in Mumbai.

'' Now it appears the managment contemplates to shift IRC to Mumbai and set up Disaster Recovery Cell in Kolkata, '' they said.

'' To add salt to the injury, a decision has been taken to move the management of Foreign Currency Money Market Operations to Global market, Mumbai, in phases to start with movement of front Office operations from March ten, although we were asured that no further job would be shifted from Foreign Department, Kolkata, to elsewhere, '' they added.

'' All these developments are unacceptable to us, '' the federation leaders said.

A relay hunger strike that began from March ten would continue until the issue was solved.


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