ALL INDIA BANK OFFICERS' ASSOCIATION
February 18, 2013
ALL UNITS / STATE COMMITTEES
WHY WE DIFFER ? ?
In the recent times, AIBOA has been voicing its standpoints on some issues, calling for course correction so that the Bank employee’s movement which has come to be identified more by UFBU , perform and deliver to keep the morale of TU consciousness and hope. The non settlement of issue of compassionate appointments in Banks for 6 years now after the sudden retracing of strike call by UFBU, and individual settlement in SBI and in 1 or 2 Banks was an issue in point. The second issue of disappointment was non observance of strike call by UFBU on mergers “within 48 hours of merger of any bank” due to opposition from AIBOC and NCBE . The third very important point of difference was the of way of fighting merger issue itself, when SBI unions remaining in UFBU, supported and helped SBI to merge State Bank of Saurashtra and Indore and UFBU had to meekly accept it on a specious theory of any one UFBU constituent not accepting the demand, it would not be taken up.
The same theory floated by UFBU on consensus was thrown to winds when UFBU wanted cost sharing by pension optees in one more pension option issue which ultimately AIBOA had to fight alone. On non-implementation of IBA of Supreme Court decision on VRS , in the negotiations UFBU and AIBOC did not stand for workers’ cause. Only AIBOA had to fight.
All the above reasons and a lot more AIBOA notwithstanding had to bailout in every meeting since genuine issues are not accepted and accepted issues are delayed and diluted so as to keep UFBU as a forum for apex units to dodge the issues from settlement to settlement without any solution.
Further more when the deceit reached a point of betrayal of interests of Bank employees when UFBU refused to stand for 6.4% basic pay to all banks when SBI contrary to understanding of IBA gave cash benefit of SBI pension fund to their employees reducing 17.5% wage settlement for other banks. UFBU which raised 17.5% during demand for all, it did not pressurise its declared understanding of SBI of crediting the fund only to SBI pension fund. Why UFBU should shy away after seeking Govt. assurance and incorporating a sentence unheard of in Bipartite for the first time in the last settlement, bringing Govt. role and assuring to take up the issue after one more option was settled.
That is why AIBOA finding the betrayal had to keep the issue alive in every forum and to bring truth to the fore.
Yet another issue is the style and methods of running UFBU. In the words of AIBEA General Secretary addressing our Central Committee of AIBOA, because of the objections of AIBOC representatives , AIBOA could not be entrusted Convenorship when AIBOC General Secretary was made Convenor for 2 ½ months . Such appeasement of AIBOC how far is correct and where it will end ? Why it was allowed? Not only this, when we were discussing convenorship issue in the subsequent meeting, AIBEA General Secretary and NCBE representative suddenly brought creating the post of Chairman for UFBU which is not there. When it was pointed out that such a post does not exist, the attitude towards AIBOA is discourteous.
When the trend of authoritarian features reached a dizzy height, AIBOA felt we have no place in it. Also the way the strike dates were decided back & forth without any sense of timing and our pointing out was not relished, we had felt that slowly UFBU was becoming a hand maid of one or two unions without regard for norms, form or democratic content. Even after a decision that contents are to be seen and cleared by General Secretaries of all unions within 48 hours, for issue of circulars by UFBU, all circulars are issued by AIBEA central office seem to be with stamp of approval of only by “big brothers” without consulting any other constituents of UFBU. Even circulars are issued without consent.
In today’s context when old members are going, new young members all joining, can UFBU concern itself to privacy and secrecy instead of consultations and transparency, can we appoint convenors at discretion instead of rotation as decided in Com.Tarak’s period.
We will fight all these deviations. More than anything even after 20 years of pension introduction, every settlement IBA is asking for more towards increased cost from settlement, and we are allowing the same percentage without reduction which in itself is a huge cost. But in Govt. they still get at 10% when our cost has come to about 13%. Besides the above we have compromised the pension scheme itself by agreeing New Pension Scheme for new recruits reducing Bank’s cost. UFBU negotiations seems to be more for Bankers than employees the way they have dealt with pension issue. Who will order a course correction? These are questions being raised by AIBOA so that there is more meaning and scope for collective bargaining through transparency and practice of decision more honestly for the advantage of Bank employees.
We are determined and ready to pursue our goal. Are you ready to support ?
In fact yet another question on which the operating unions will have to seriously research and think over is in relation to the alternate weapon to strike as a form of agitation. Strike as form of protest is slowly losing sheen and significance in Banks due to ritualistic and over usage with about 50 strikes since the reform period. These strikes have tended to result in greater business for foreign Banks and Indian Private Banks only. Infact with 40% of the workforce resorting to leave taking and with nearly 60000 ATMs serving individual account holders for cash transacitons and online net working facility provided to corporate and big account holders and borrowers, there has been an erosion of the impact of strikes.
It is high time alternate methods of agitations are found out in place of ritualistic year wise declaration of strikes which has made the issues look less serious, even though they are of prime importance. Future lies in building greater militancy and greater bargaining capacity to infuse confidence in the TU movement in Banks.
As keen observers of the Bipartite system of collective bargaining in Banks, one should not miss the fact that for the first time a MOU was signed by UFBU constituents with IBA on 27.11.2009 determining the amount of increase without the presence of SBI unions and with only Non-SBI unions representing AIBOC and NCBE.
However instead of entering into the settlement as per MOU, the UFBU convenor and SBI dominated AIBOC and NCBE once again tricked with the bringing the Govt. guarantees on SBI pension fund and effected a deduction on MOU which is the basis of settlement. Citing delay caused and likely adverse circumstances UFBU showed signs of urgency to ward off the opposition display against SBI unions AIBOC and NCBE by bailing out SBI factions. Thus not only Rs.300 crores was lost for Bankmen but a golden opportunity to condition SBI dominated AIBOC to be split on in its own contradiction through UFBU playing the life saviour role all in the name of one more option. Why instead of continuing the MOU basis UFBU leadership prevaricated and bailed out SBI interests is too far to seek. AIBOA will fight such opportunistic alliance in the name of majority and shall fight for our due share and rights as no majority can mitigate against majority as is happening now.
384. All India Bank Officers' Association-AIBOA-our sister organization was brought into existence in February 1981 in terms of our Allahabad Conference decision. Twelve years are over by now and it is necessary to have a critical and objective look at its problem and growth, since Officers constitute a powerful, important plank of our movement. AlBEA and AIBOA are truly two sides of the same coin
385. The recent agitation on Pension issue has brought to sharp focus the role and impact of the Officers in the Banking Industry. In the days to come, when banks will be increasingly computerised, the role and number of Officers is bound to increase. Today,on an average, in the Industry, for about 2.4. Clerks, there is 1 Officer as against the ratio of 3 to 1, more than a decade earlier. This is due to proliferation of bank branches in rural and semi-urban areas where in an office, a clerk or peon or both may not be there but must have an Officer.
386. An Officer-oriented banking industry is definitely emerging.
387.It appears, our Unions have not been able to grasp the realities and inherent challenges. Many of our Unions have not taken any interest and steps in organising Officers under the banner of AIBOA. A few of us have a feeling that AIBOA should not have been at all formed. Some of us think that other Officers' organisation, which ofcourse commands majority, should be made our friends and that conflict with AIBOC is because of the existence of AIBOA. Because of all these types of feelings and outlooks, we have hardly played a concerted role in promoting AIBOA as a very powerful organisation which shares our perceptions, objectives, goals and, of course, ideological positions. If tommorrow, AIBOA is not there, will the AIBOC be our friends in the true sense of the term?
388. The recent developments concerning issues-be of Pension or Privatisation-have amply demonstrated AIBOC's anti-AlBEA ROLE. It tomorrow AIBOA is not there, these anti-AlBEA / AIBOA forces will have the sole monopoly of the situation resulting in inevitable weakening of AlBEA, our movement and bargaining power. If there can be an INBOC or NOBO, why should there not be a powerful AIBOA, which is already occupying the second position in terms of membership?
389.Friends, there is no alternative to a strong AIBOA and strengthening AIBOA in every Bank, in every State and in every branch, is imperative and important task if we have got to meet the challenges of today and tommorrow. It is therefore an important organisational responsibility that in every bank strengthening Officer's organisation under the banner of AIBOA must be given top priority. A weak Officers' movement is bound toresult in weakening AlBEA and our movement.
390. It will not be proper for me to deal with the deficiencies in AIBOA itself. In a friendly manner we have pointed out the same to them from time to time. Effective steps will have to be undertaken to plug the loopholes and weaknesses in the organisational structure and functioning of AIBOA, particularly at State and bankwise levels.
391.On our part, we will have to build-up proper co-ordination between our two organisations. The bedrock of this is mutual respect for each other and organizational independence. The fact that our interests are interdependent and inseparably interlinked need not be emphasised here. Numerical strength of each other or status consciousness in administrative operation heirarchy of the banks should not be a factor.
Care should be taken against manifestation of any superiority complex.
392.To sum up, in the light of the experience for the past 12 years, the task of building-up and strengthening AIBOA has to be given immediate attention on our part in our own interest.
393. During the period, AIBOA has conducted many struggles in individual banks as well as on all-India levels. In their exclusive campaigns and agitations, we and ourunions have extended them necessary support, as AIBOA has invariably supported us and our Unions whenever agitations on award staff issues have taken place. On All-India plane, we have always been together, hand-in-hand in close co-operation. This mutual co-operation has got to be further promoted, consolidated and cemented.
394. Today, AIBOA commands majority in quite a few banks Oriental Bank of Commerce, erstwhile New Bank of India, State Bank of Indore, Central Bank of India,Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab and Sind Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank. They have got powerful presence in Vijaya Bank, United Bank of India, UCO Bank, Canara Bank, Allahabad Bank, Union Bank, Indian Bank, State Bank of Patiala and also in number of Private Banks such as Karnataka Bank, Vysya Bank. In certain other banks also AIBOA units exist.
395. During this period, in July, 1992, AIBOA held its 2nd Conference in Madras.Inaugurated by Shri V. R. Nedunchezhian, Finance Minister of Tamilnadu Government and with Shri P. S. Gopalakrishnan, the then Chairman of IBA, as Chief Guest, the conference was well attended. The conference elected Com. P. K. Menon and Com. R. J. Sridharan as President and General Secretary respectively.
= AIBEA GENERAL SECRETARY REPORT 1996 ON AIBOA - Com.Tarakeswar=
ALL INDIA BANK OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION
(Central office: Chennai)
February 5, 2013
ALL UNITS / STATE COMMITTEES
A I B O A CALLS FOR NATION WIDE BANK
STRIKE ON 20TH AND 21ST FEBRUARY 2013
In the Workers Parliament held at New Delhi on 04 09 2012 , the Central Trade Unions chalked out “Programmes of actions” culminating in two days strike action on the 20th & 21st Feb 2013 to realize the ten point demands.
2. The earlier call of agitation for a nationwide strike on 28th Feb 2012 by CTUs was observed by our organization, when the other Officers’ organization in the industry AIBOC, failed to identify themselves with the issues and observe the strike. AIBOA, true to its ideology and philosophy consistently observed various agitational programme including strike on 22nd & 23rd August 2012 as well as on the 20th Dec 2012 along with other trade unions of the industry & country.
3. The attack on the industry and its workforce is increasing alarmingly and it is our observation that UFBU failed to live upto the expectation of the rank and file by not observing such agitational programme including strike on 20th Dec 2012, which was the need of the time.
4. AIBOA Office bearers met today at Gurgaon in the office of A I O B O A and deliberated in detail on the emerging situation in the banking industry, the role of UFBU and its functioning in realizing the aspirations of workforce in the industry. With the alternative channel of delivery of services available at the industry, strike loses its sharpness as propagated in the press and media. After threadbare discussions and also taking note of the request made by the leader of working class, the General Secretary of AITUC Com Gurudas Dasgupta, it was decided to observe the strike on 20th & 21st Feb 2013 all over the country in banking industry to realize the following demands:
FUNCTIONAL GROUPING OF PSU BANKS RESULTING IN MERGERS
REGULATED WORKING HOURS FOR OFFICERS
PAY PARITY AND PAYMENT OF 6.4% OF BASIC AS ALLOWANCE AT PAR WITH SBI
RESTORATION OF COMPASSIONATE GROUND APPOINTMENTS
EXTENSION OF PENSION IDBI BANK WORK FORCE
5 DAYS WORKING IN BANKS
10 POINTS DEMANDS OF CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS.
5. Accordingly we call upon the units, State Committees and members to observe the strike on the 20th & 21st Feb 2013 and make it a grand success. Highlighting the issues raised by AIBOA should be the priority task of our units and state committees. In all programmes of preparatory in nature our demands are to be highlighted properly.
6. Units may give instructions regarding handing over keys/charge . No exemption is given since all officer unions are going on strike and the strike is mainly on our demands.
All state committees should keep the Central Office of AIBOA informed of completion of various programmes (to be decided at state level) from time to time.
For Further Reading,