Monday, September 29, 2014
"Bank Workers Forum" editorial:
United Forum of Bank Unions is a united platform of bank employees for struggle.
Along with the unity for struggle, struggle for unity is a part of it.
Many a times we may have to struggle for united actions inside this platform also.
It is quite natural in a movement where pro-struggle, anti-struggle and struggle-averse elements rally together.
It is true that from the very beginning, UFBU could not react firmly towards the adamant attitude adopted by the bank management.
UFBU decided for serious agitation for wage revision only after the leaders were forced to rise up to the expectation of the common employees.
Even after the declaration of strike, the bank management continued their negative attitude.
Offering a humiliating wage increase to the employees, IBA’s advice to them was to accept their offer, withdraw the strike and sign the settlement.
Obviously UFBU rejected the offer and went ahead with agitation programs.
But reacting favorably to the offer of the management, one organization wanted to withdrawthe agitation.
But UFBU leadership might never have expected that this will come out in such a dangerous manner.
Through their latest circular AIBEA has given very clear hint to IBA that their stand is quite different from other constituents of UFBU and that the demand of UFBU is unjust.
Through their confession they have declared that their charter of demand for 40% wage increase itself was wrong.
And bank management is cleverly utilizing this opportunity.
This was very clear in the discussion held on September 17.
The understanding was that there can be some flexibility in our demand for 25% wage increase, but it will be declared only after noting how much IBA increase their offer and what stand they take on other issues.
But in the discussion, IBA took a very tough position that they will proceed further only after knowing how much UFBU is willing to climb down.
Arming themselves with the circular issued by one constituent, that alone can be expected.
Then UFBU again met and decided to climb down to 23%, but AIBEA still was not satisfied.
The bank management then closed the discussion saying that revised offer will be placed during the next meeting on Sept 23.
Normally the discussions held by constituents inside a joint platform are not disclosed to outsiders.
But that practice has to be given up for the very survival and healthy progress of UFBU.
Let the members of each unit know and assess how their leaders think and act. Let them correct the leaders wherever necessary.
Otherwise it will pave way for anarchist and unwarranted incidents like the march taken out at Jantar Mantar on Sept 13 challenging the trade unions.
The very credibility of the joint movement is at stake. It should be avoided at any cost.