AIBOC to lead fight against ’58-year-retirement’ at CSB

 ‘Several CSB executives including MD are well past 60 years’

THRISSUR: The compulsory early retirement scheme imposed on the Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) officers recently is all set to become a burning issue within the financial services industry of the country.

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), the apex body of the bank officers’ trade unions, representing more than 3.2 lakh bank officers, has decided to take up the issue of imposition of compulsory early retirement on officers of the Thrissur-based Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB).

The issue got national attention when the management of the 96-year-old bank headed by its MD & CEO on Monday unilaterally announced through an unwarranted circular that officers’ retirement age at CSB would be 58 instead of 60 from April end 2019, onwards.

Quite ironically, the question being raised by the thousands of shareholders and customers of the bank, mainly based in Thrissur, is whether the ‘58-rule’ will apply to the bank’s MD & CEO, the HR manager himself, who issued the circular and several other CSB executives, who are already well past 60 – as they have taken up the plush CSB job after retiring from their main assignments at different other organisations.

Talking to, the AIBOC general secretary Soumya Datta said the management of CSB has been targeting the members of CSB Officers Association (CSBOA) in the past two years for their resistance to various misdeeds of the bank management ever since the present MD & CEO took the helm of the bank about three years ago.

AIBOC said it sincerely believed that the bad feelings between the employees and management would never auger well for the growth of a bank that has been struggling for its existence for some years now.

AIBOC would appeal to the RBI and the Government to intervene in the issue immediately and set the house in order at CSB. AIBOC said it was ready to take the fight to save CSB employees to any level as it is against the retrograde measures by the MD & CEO.

It would be only the management headed by the MD & CEO of CSB, who would be held responsible for any consequences thereafter,” the AIBOC note added.

In fact, AIBOC had made detailed representations to the Central Labour Commissioner (CLC), Indian Banks Association (IBA) and Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance (MoF) earlier during the conciliatory proceedings held in Delhi on December 19, 2018, before the strike on December 21, 2018. The CLC had even advised representatives of IBA and DFS to intervene and use their good offices to resolve this insidious issue in the bank.

CSB is the first bank in the country’s banking history, where a majority holding through FDI was permitted, and as a result, the Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa-owned Fairfax India Holding Corporation now holds 51 per cent stake in the close-to-a-century old bank

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