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Bank Strikes of 22nd & 23rd August 2012 Were Grand Success  -  For Whom ?


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by

Rajesh Goyal 

 

 

When in July 2012, two day strike was deferred, I have written a hard hitting article about the issues being raised for forcing the cadres to go on strike.  Although, the article evoked lot of good response, yet cadres have lots of limitation and find it almost impossible to go against the union call.   Now finally two days strike materialized and ended on 23rd August, 2012.   When I searched internet for latest reports, I found (on the expected lines) circulars issued promptly  by unions claiming the strike to be "thunderous success".  The circular issued by AIBOC (circular No 75), inter alia says :-

 

"More than 10 lac employees and officers working in the Banking Industry comprising of Public Sector and Private Sector Banks struck work demanding for early resolution of the following issues.

 

         OPPOSING BANKING SECTOR REFORMS.

         OPPOSING UNILATERAL IMPLEMENTATION OF KHANDELWAL COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS.

         OPPOSING OUTSOURCING OF BANK JOBS.

         OPPOSING ARBITRARY GUIDELINES ON HR ISSUES.

         OPPOSING CLOSURE OF RURAL BRANCHES "

 

 

Some readers must be wondering as to why I prefer to quote from AIBOC circular.    I decided to quote so that it is part of this page as to the issues for which bankers were forced to go on strike.  This will help us in undertaking a review of the progress on the issues for which bankers are paying through their nose in the shape of deductions from salaries ranging from Rs 1500 to Rs4000.  I have already discussed as to the futility of these issues in my earlier article.

 

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Now let us review the success of the strike.

 

There is no doubt that strike was successful in disrupting the banking operation.  To this extent and only to this extent, it was a Thunderous Success".   I keep on getting some emails and feedback on these issues.   Now let us review its success on parameters other than disruption of the banking operations :-

 

(a) Did it get the necessary press coverage?  Most of the readers will agree that media just ignored it and clippings were found either on deep internal pages with small articles.   One of the readers in his mail questioned as to why strike by few hundred pilots of Air India or Kingfisher evokes huge response in press, whereas strike by 10 lac employees finds a small place in newspapers.   I fumbled for an answer.  Airlines users must be less than 0.0001% of the users of banking services.   Thus, from this point of view, I feel the strike was a big failure

 

(b) Did strike shaked the government ?  Did any minister came on TV channel and agreed to look into the demands of the bankers ?  I did not see any such clippings.   Thus, it was failure as government remained absolutely silent and must have forgotten about the strike by the time our readers will go through this article.  This it was a big failure to force the government to come to table and make any concrete move to meet the demands.

 

(c) Did it generate any public sympathy ?  The answer is big NO.   The issues were beyond the comprehension by a common banker, leave alone the general public.  A glance at the comments will show the negativism it has generated among the public.   We can argue that public is generally negative on strike issues.   But remember this negativism will hard hit the bankers when they will like to go on strike on the issue of Wage Revision.  By that time, the public will be fed up with the strikes by bankers and nobody will come forward to support the bankers on even a genuine demand.   Union leaders need to know the psychology of the public.   This strike will harm the interests of the bankers in the coming months.

 

(d) Has general banker gained anything from this strike ?  Yes, he got two days leave but after deduction of two days salary.  Thus bankers are going to loose somewhere between Rs 1500 to Rs 4000 just to please the union leaders and their bosses.   Who will do the extra load of work on 24th August onwards.   I am sure, on that day union leaders will be busy in celebrating the success of the strike, whereas poor banker in a branch has to do the extra load and clear the backlog over the next one week.   Great success for the union leaders !

 

I think bankers need to ponder on the issue of such strikes.  

 

You can give your feedback / comments about this Article.   Please give only relevant comments as irrelevant comments are waste of time for yourself and our other readers.

 

 

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