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Why This Deafening  Silence by UFBU Leaders




 Kamlesh Chaturvedi

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Comments by ABS : At the time of uploading this article, it is less than 24 hours that agitation by Young Bankers will take place at Jantar Mantar on 13th September.  However, the deafening silence (some say even covert threats) of UFBU perplexed almost everybody.  Mr Kamlesh Chaturvedi has sent the following article, which is timely and hope will inspire the youngsters as to why is all the more necessary to support this movement  all out.


ďMarch and show of strength organized by young bankers is just one day away. As regards the support for this march, it is overwhelming and can be seen at social media and messages received from bankers across the country. The number of supporters is more than the strength of many Unions like INBEF, NOBW, BEFI, INBOC, NOBO etc which are part of the UFBU. It is unprecedented that young bankers irrespective of their banks, cadre and union affiliation are coming together, joining hands and participating in propaganda on whatsapp, facebook, twitter etc. It needs no argument that these young officers and workmen are members of all the constituent unions of the UFBU and it canít be assumed that top leaders of these unions are not aware of what is happening. Then a question arises why they are silent? Why they are not coming into open or releasing circular to explain their view points on march organized by young bankers? In old times, if leaders used to become aware of such developments, they used to talk to the members convincing them not to indulge in such activities and in case organizers used to refuse the advice of their leaders, they used to issue circulars declaring the event as an act of indiscipline and asking their members not to participate in it. That too is not happening. Why?

Perhaps these leaders are thinking that present system is in their favor.  It is the number of members giving them monthly subscription that matters. As long as subscription is deducted from the salaries of their members for being credited in Union Account, they are secure to plead that they are actual representative of the Unions they are representing.  May be they are confident that these young bankers are not experienced and not capable of organizing and leading an agitation and with the passage of time when no result would be forthcoming, they would become silent automatically and would accept their decision of percentage increase in the same manner they had accepted at the time of signing of 9th BPS when too such time of resentment had come to surface and number of demonstrations were held across the country followed by filing of writ petitions before various High Courts and which are still pending before the Apex Honíble Supreme Court of India.

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Whatever may be the reasons behind such silence, there can be no doubt that neither these developments are in the best interest of the Unions these leaders are representing nor it is going to strengthen the present system of resolution of grievances through the mechanism of bipartite talks between association of Banks i.e. IBA and all the major Unions. The resentment, anger and anguish displayed by young bankers would adversely affect the working of the unions if it can be assumed for the argument sake that present agitation launched by the young bankers would not be able to deliver the result because these young bankers would feel alienated from the Unions and may even decide not to pay union subscription. Can it be assumed that entering into settlement amidst so much unrest, anger, anguish and dissatisfaction would foster industrial peace and harmony in the Banking Industry which is the basic aim of present system of bilateral negotiations and entering into of the Bipartite Settlement?

It is evidently and undoubtedly apparent that there is huge gap between expectations and aspirations of the bankers and their leaders. While bankers want equality in the matter of pay scales, pension, number of working days in a week and other facilities at par with the Central Government Employees, their leaders are negotiating in their own style and involved in game of percentage increase in wages right from the beginning. It looks like either leaders are not able to read mind and heart of their members or else they are knowingly ignoring the same being confident that they are representing unions which have a force of devoted and committed members.

These leaders may be more experienced and knowledgeable than these young bankers in the matter of running of the organizations, art of negotiations and quality of pleading and convincing others, but they are conveniently forgetting out of the proud got instill in them over a period of time that when a revolution starts for a change, it is often started by handful of persons determined to bring a change. It gradually spread like a fire and covers the entire system. These leaders are forgetting that revolutionary changes have always been brought by those who are emotional and sentimental and not by learned and experienced persons because for a revolution itís the number of persons supporting and participating in the change process that matters and not their capability and potential to argue and lead. Who knows that march and show of strength organized by young bankers proves to be a first step in the direction of revolutionary changes in the history of trade union movement of the banking industry. Symptoms of revolution are already present in the support extended by bankers because never before in the history since formation of the first union in 1946, bankers have come forward on their own forgetting their bank, cadre and union to organize an event matching the event of 13th September at Jantar Mantar. Only time will tell how much courage, conviction, devotion and determination is there in young bankers to move further in systematic manner for converting their anger, anguish and dissatisfaction into result of bringing about a change and securing equality at par with Central Government Employees.

I honestly feel that our top leaders must have come into open to explain their line of action because it is the unrest in their own rank and file and they owe a duty to control it and if they find that things have gone beyond their control, at least they must resign and assume the role of mentor for furtherance of the trade union movement. If leaders still keep  silent, it would mean that they are least concerned about strengthening of the Union they are leading.


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