State-run lender, SBI, recently circulated a letter sent to the chief general manager of all circles, warning of action against employees who criticise the bank, its management and its policies.
Of late, employees have taken to social-media platforms to criticise the Bank’s policies amidst the coronavirus crisis. Not just SBI, but employees of many public banks have been expressing their displeasure at having to travel for work, on social media. Their argument is that they can stay home as almost all services are available online and customers can easily avail those services from their homes. While the matter has been raised by many public-bank employees, SBI is the only entity to issue such a circular.
The letter stated that there has been a rise in the number of posts criticising the Bank and its management for not closing down operations amid the crisis and there has been no appreciation of the role of the Bank at such a critical time.
Employees have criticised this move by the Bank terming it undemocratic and a breach of the democratic freedoms enshrined by the Constitution. They claim that they have a right to express their views on social media without divulging details about the organisations or using offensive language.
Officials from the Bank have claimed that although employees are free to express their views on social platforms, they have to keep in mind the social-media policy of the Bank.
Disciplinary action may be taken against employees if they tarnish the image and reputation of the Bank. Reportedly, the lender has already issued disciplinary action against two employees.