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UFBU and IBA On Verge of Success In Cheating Bankers By Ensuring That Next  Fruitful Negotiations Can Take Place Only in June, 2014



Rajesh Goyal 

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Before I discuss the above headlines, let us review the developments in last few days.  This review is necessary to understand the politics going behind the scene.     Two days strike did happen on 10th and 11th February, 2014.  UFBU patted on their back and thanked the cadre for grand success of the strike.  But felt no hurry to hold a meeting of UFBU immediately for the chalking out the next action plan.   They coolly announced that the next meeting will be held on 19th February, 2014 i.e. 8 days after the strike date, which had resulted in loss of pay of each and every member who participated in the strike.  Is this fair?   Once a banker has felt the pinch of deduction of salary, he expects his leaders to be prompt in deciding the next course of action.  This delay has come under severe criticism at social websites, but had no effect on the leaders of UFBU.  They, as usual, kept their cool like Roman emperor Nero who played the lyre while Rome was burning.   You require guts to be this cool.

On the day of strike, FM issued a statement which was totally unwarranted and showed his poor knowledge of the ground realities.   This was the first snub to the UFBU leaders from FM, though they have been snubbed number of times by IBA in last one year.    It was clear from FM's  statement that IBA had his blessings during all this period.

In the meantime, IBA too took the things coolly inspite of two day country wide strike and snubbed UFBU  by unilaterly postponing Negotiating Committee meeting scheduled for 13th February 2014.  This was something like rubbing salt on the wounds of bankers who had just have lost two day's salary for the strike.    Frankly speaking, when I heard this news, I was shocked and speechless as it left me wondering as to how IBA ignore even strike of two days which is believed to have left lakhs of customers not being served for two days.    There was no news from UFBU either giving the reasons for postponement of strike or the next date of meeting.  Bankers felt  that even their leaders are all clueless or are hand in glove them to ensure that negotiations are delayed as much as possible.   This suspense continued for whole week.   There were rumors during this period that IBA has refused to talk any further on account of FM's statement and UFBU's strike.

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I am giving below a paragraph from one of the emails received by me from Mr. Ganapathi Subramanian, a regular reader who actively participates in the discussions - " These two instances, though apparently separate, clearly indicate that neither the IBA nor the Govt care a hoot for the UFBU and its negotiating team.  Thus a marked disregard for the process of bipartite arrangement  established in the late 60s has become apparent.  If this is not countered by UFBU through appropriate counter measures  without any further waste of time, then they will only end up sealing the fate of the lakhs of serving bank employees , besides making the career in banking an unattractive  proposition for the future generation".    (The full text of his email can be read by clicking  here ).

Now just a day ahead of the UFBU meeting, IBA once again unilaterally announces the date of next negotiating meeting on 3rd March, 2014, and UFBU in its meeting on 19th February, 2014, merely postpones any action plan and has announced that such action plan will be considered only after the meeting now offered by IBA for 3rd March, 2014.    The huge number of suggestions given by common banker through social medias have been kept aside and UFBU meekly agrees to the proposed date of IBA.  Thus, now bankers need to wait for 3rd March, 2014 i.e. for about 2 weeks.     Now question arises, what prompted IBA to again come to table if they were offended by strike?  Was it merely to buy time?

Now let us discuss as to how I feel  UFBU and IBA Are On The Verge of Success In Cheating Bankers By Ensuring That Next  Fruitful Negotiations Can Take Place Only in June, 2014.   In the columns of this website, I have been reminding everybody (although most of you are well aware of this) that elections for the next Lok Sabha are likely to be announced by early March or late February itself.   Now as per reports the Election Commission is likely to announce this either on 28th February or on 1st March, 2014.   Thus, in all probability when UFBU and IBA meet on 3rd March, 2014, election code will be in vogue.  Thus, there will be again a Chai Party alongwith heavy snacks or may be a great lunch and meeting will be postponed on the plea that no decisions can be taken in view of the election code.  Even if they decide to meet, just to befool bankers, it will be informal meeting and no fruitful decisions will be arrived till elections are over and new government comes to power. 

Thus, bankers need to continue to lick their wounds and discuss issues on social media.



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