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Stalemate in Settlement of 10th BPS Deepens After One Day Strike



Rajesh Goyal 

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In view of my family commitments, I have not been able to write articles in last few days, though I kept the track of the events happening during this period.


We know that the reconciliation meeting with CLC failed and IBA did not budge an inch from its offer of 11%, and thus UFBU was not even given a face saver and ultimately strike took place as planned on 12th November, 2014.


The UFBU circular dated 12/11/2014 (Click here to read the full circular quoted in the AIBOC circular of 13/11/2014), clearly claims the same to be “GRAND SUCCESS”.  [During my service of over thirty years and three years after VRS,  I do not remember even a single instance when any union has termed its strike as a failure or partially successful].  The definition of success can be measured only by the results or the impact the same has on other party, and not by your efforts whereby people participate under threats of transfers and victimization and had to forgo their salary for the day.   I have still to hear about the impact the one day strike t had on IBA or GoI and showing their desire to hasten the negotiations.


I will like to remind bankers that in a circular dated 11th February, 2014 (Click here to read The UFBU circular dated 11th February, 2014 quoted in AIBOC circular), UFBU has claimed TWO DAY strike as “Historic Success”.   Even before that historic strike IBA has agreed to offer 10% hike.  Thus, we can say that after two day’s historic strike followed by number of meetings in next 9 months, IBA merely agreed to increase its offer by 1% i.e. from 10% to 11%. 

In the circular issued by  AIBOC on 11th February, 2014 , it was clearly mentioned that they appreciate the sentiments of the comrades for call of indefinite strike, and promised that a decision in this regard will be taken at appropriate time.  Even after 9 months of wait, the appropriate time is eluding AIBOC and UFBU.


I do not know whether Historic strike (two strike in February 2014)  will be termed better than the Grand Success strike (one day strike of November 2014) or it will be in reverse order?   I need help of some union leaders to understand this as my logic is failing when I read such circulars.


It is interesting to note that after 9 months of wait (from February 2014 when two days strike was held), UFBU decided to go on only for one day strike in November 2014 (whereas in February 2014 it had already escalated the strike to two day level).   Is it the strike of November 2014, escalation of the agitation or de-escalation of the agitation  prgoramme when compared with February 2014?   Were UFBU leaders were  hopeful that one strike  will have a greater impact on the much stable Modi government as compared to weak Congress Government in February 2014?   When the so called historic successful strike of two days in February 2014 failed to have any impact on weak government which has to face national elections within three months,  I fail to understand the logic of one day strike in the middle of week, and that two after all the festivals have passed ?  May be they felt Narendra Modi and his team  is a novice and thus will come to their knees if UFBU goes on one day strike?  Great logic which is at least beyond my understanding.  

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I leave it to the imagination of the bankers what was the level of participation in the strike as they have much better ground level knowledge than me.  The media coverage is not encouraging as National media paid on lip service the strike by reporting the same as small box news.   Certainly some local media devoted more space, may be on account of influence of local staff who give advertisements of vernacular languages on behalf of their banks.   Bank offices still remain open beyond 7.00 PM inspite of the call of UFBU to close the same in time.


However, the whole process of reconciliation at CLC followed by stubborn attitude of IBA by sticking to 11% hike offer, and no response from Govt even after the strike, has weakened the UFBU’s ability to threaten the Govt by the tool of one day strike.   It has brought into the light the arrogance of IBA & Govt. and helplessness of UFBU.    At CLC meetings, usually the employer offers some relief so as to defuse the situation.   However, IBA’s adamant attitude at CLC shows that UFBU is completely toothless – as usually happens with the aged people. 


Thus, now the net result is that there is bigger stalemate on wage revision front as both the parties are not ready to revise their offer and hardened their stand in front of CLC followed by strike.  UFBU already under extreme pressure of cadres, has been caught in the web of their own making as in their ego and to earn more levy, they failed to put pressure on previous government before elections and clinch the deal.    Now, I feel the new government, which is much more stable and has no hanging sword of national level elections, will like to weaken  the UFBU so as to introduce bank reforms.   Thus, the tussle is likely to be longer and sufferer will be only and only Aam Banker as UFBU continues to get its subscription of crores of rupees.  Frequent strikes like held now and Zonal Relay Strikes will only create a wrong perception in the eyes of public as no public awareness is being created for the reasons for these strikes.






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