About hundred odd employees of ING Vysya Bank on Thursday protested against its merger with Kotak Mahindra Bank - on a day when the two lenders sought approvals from their respective shareholders for the Rs 15,000-crore deal at their respective extraordinary general meetings (EGMs).
While the EGM of ING Vysya Bank was held in Benguluru, Kotak Mahindra Bank held its EGM in Mumbai. Employee protests were limited to Benguluru while there was so such agitation at the Mumbai meeting.
Officials of the two private sector lenders said that the results of shareholders' voting would be known in 48 hours while assuring that employee concerns have been taken care of in the acquisition.
The unions, representing ING Vysya Bank employees, however, said that their concerns about job security and others have not been taken on board.
All India ING Vysya Bank Employees' Union General Secretary KJ Ramakrishna Reddy said, "We participated in the meeting. We have clearly told them that this bank should be merged with a nationalised bank. There is no point in going and merging with Kotak Mahindra Bank."
Reddy was speaking to reporters to share details of EGM proceedings in Bengaluru, from which the media was barred.
Unions are demanding a tripartite agreement with the Kotak Mahindra Bank, Reddy said, adding that agitation would continue if their demands are not met.
Asked about options that are left with the unions if the resolution goes through, he said, "... At this stage we don't want to comment on that. We definitely have all options open....we will explore every possibility to fight."
SA Sridhar of ING Vysya Bank Officers' Association said, "... When a tripartite agreement is being asked to take care of the employees, why are they shying away from such an agreement? This is the big question that is coming. Are they going to back stab us in future?"
Earlier in the day Reddy had said the Regional Labour Commissioner in the second conciliatory meeting told ING Vysya Bank management to involve Kotak Mahindra Bank officials also in the discussion and arrive at an amicable settlement.
"They promised that they will bring Kotak Mahindra. That that has so far not happened. Again tomorrow we have a conciliation meeting....if they don't come forward, we will continue our agitation," he said.
All-India ING Vysya Bank Employees Union and All-India ING Vysya Bank Officers Association, together represent 35 per cent of the lender's over 10,000 employees.
The Uday Kotak-led bank had reiterated that it fully stands by and is obligated to comply with sections related to employees' job security, wages, pension including Dearness Allowance linked adjustments, provident fund and gratuity among other benefits.
Regarding the EGM, a spokesperson of ING Vysa Bank said, "We thank the shareholders for their participation. The results will be notified to the stock exchanges after completion of counting of the votes by the independent scrutinisers. We shall complete this activity within the prescribed 48 hours as per law."