Jammu: Hundreds of security guards, including ex-servicemen, working for a private company engaged by a bank, Monday staged a protest here against alleged salary cuts without any notification.
The guards providing protection to Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), cash vans and bank branches assembled outside the zonal office of J&K Bank at Bahu Plaza and staged a sit-in, seeking intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the bank management to ensure proper wages to them.
“We have assembled here to lodge our protest against the salary cut at a time when the prices of essential commodities, including kitchen goods, apart from petrol and diesel, have skyrocketed making the lives of the common man miserable,” ex-paramilitary serviceman Balbir Singh, who was leading the protest, said.
Singh, who is posted as a security guard in the zonal office, said the salary cut of nearly Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 to both unskilled and skilled guards was not acceptable to them.
“A gunman would get Rs 11,500, while the ATM guard was given a salary of around Rs 7,000. After the salary cut, how will we feed our families in the prevailing situation? This is grave injustice and the J&K bank management should end its contract with this company immediately,” he said.
He demanded a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 for ex-servicemen working as guards providing security to bank branches and cash vans and Rs 10,000 for ATM guards who work from 5 am to 10 pm daily.
“The contractor changes every three years and this time a Chandigarh-based company has got the contract. They have shown insensitivity and left thousands of guards, who are risking their lives, distressed,” he said, requesting the intervention of the bank management and the LG in reversing the pay cut and also ensuring proper wages to them.
Later, a delegation of the protesters met the bank officials and the protest was ended on their assurance that they will take up the issue with the company concerned.