IBA Appears To Be Coming Out of Slumber – Can UFBU Make Best of the Opportunity on 6th January, 2015
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In our article dated 2nd January, 2015 under the heading Indian PS Banks, Bank Top Management and Bank Officers & Employees, UFBU – All Are Staring At the Cross Road, we have written as under :-
“They have proposed one day strike on 7th January, 2015, which is hardly going to make any impact, as bankers are fed up with such token strikes for too long. Next proposal for 4 day strike alongwith 2 holidays, is certainly a worry for UFBU and IBA. “
Now on 5th January, 2015, a meeting with Chief Labour Commissioner was held, Before analyzing the details of what happened at this meeting, let us see what UFBU circulars of previous such meetings have informed to their cadre :
(a) After the CLC between IBA and UFBU held on 13/01/2014 (i.e. 12 months earlier) the circular issued by UFBU read as:-
“The Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) suggested that another round of talks shall be held between IBA and UFBU to find amicable solution and further meetings should be held at regular intervals, say fortnightly, to settle an early wage revision. Agreeing to the suggestions made by CLC(C), the representatives of IBA offered to hold negotiations with the representatives of UFBU on 17th January 2014. UFBU has responded and said that it will attend the negotiation with an open mind”
[After few days, both parties have conveniently forgotten about fortnightly meetings]
(b) After the CLC between IBA and UFBU held on 5/11/2014 (i.e. about two months ago), the circular issued by UFBU read as :
“After a lot of deliberations, with both sides maintaining their respective standpoints, UFBU indicated its willingness to revise its demand to 23 %
keeping in mind the need to find an amicable solution to the issue. Unfortunately, IBA remained adamant and refused to improve their offer thus
compelling a situation on us strike but without any improvement in their offer. Thus, the conciliation meeting ended without any positive result.
………In this meeting also IBA repeated their arguments and displayed their”.
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The above two meetings clearly indicates the IBA was not at all serious as they were not afraid of one day or two strikes, whereas UFBU leaders, in the hope of having higher levy, tried to delay the announcement of longer / indefinite strike.
Now under extreme pressure of the cadres and the settlement having become overdue by more than 2 years, UFBU has not been left with alternative but to escalate the strikes periods from 1 day to 4 days (effectively six days) from 21st January 2015, and then indefinite strike in March 2015. Having lines drawn by both parties, it became clear that some middle path is to be find out by offering something between 11% and 23%. Thus, it appears both the parties were slightly more serious before CLC this time.
Thus, now in CLC meeting held on 5th January, 2015 at Delhi, IBA said it would hold negotiations with UFBU tomorrow (i.e. 6th January, 2015) at Mumbai to find amicable solution. UFBU agreed to attend the meeting. Thus, now BA and UFBU will have a round of talks on 6.1.2015 at Mumbai at 3.00 p.m.
Thus, as on late night of 5th January, 2015 (when I am giving final tuches to this article), things are totally in fluid state and non of the parties have opened their cards, though some small unions are opposed to strike of 7th January, 2015
In our article dated 2nd January, 2014, we have suggested as follows: UFBU now needs to grea up their media management and put facts before the public through newspaper advertisements etc. Although it appears all unions are not at the same wave length, yet I was glad to see an Advertisement by AIBOC in TOI, Pune edition dated 3rd January, 2015 . However, it has not received the wide publicity which it deserved through social media. (Click here to read the contents of the Advt. published on behalf of AIBOC in TOI Pune edition on 3rd January 2015). It is good sign and matured decision of AIBOC leaders that they have tried to create an awareness at the right time and right place ie. The advt was placed in a well known newspapers published from a city where Gyan Sangam being attended by FM and PM was being held. Frankly speaking we at AllBankingSolutions.com have been advocating for such a move for long time. Good strategy which must have created a panic button among the GoI and IBA. It would have been still better if this advt had been issued by UFBU and across India.
With the above background, now there is a need for show unity by all the UFBU units and force IBA to offer a much higher increase then merely 11%. I am of the view of the strike of 7th January is successful, a panic among IBA and GoI will start to somehow get the strike of 4 days being cancelled /deferred. IBA and GOI can use legal, illegal and various pressure tactics. Although, I have writing about pathetic attitude of union leaders in the past, yet at this stage I feel full support from all cadres is needed to make it happen. However, I am afraid that some leaders of UFBU may not cave in – may be under pressure or some other ulterior motives.
Therefore, All Bankers now need to stand united and ensure that UFBU leaders do not cave to settle for 13% or 14%, and cancel the strike programme. They must insiste for an assurance that increase will be better than the previous BPS.
I feel on 6th January, 2015, afternoon, there will be tug of war between UFBU and IBA, and each one of them will try to prevail upon the other. The result of such a meeting will be out before all our readers have read this article as we are uploading it only at late night of 5th January 2015
Wishing all Bankers a Good Luck for Honourable Settlement as talks have reached a critical and crucial phase – it is a do or die situation for everybody.