Friday, December 26, 2014

UFBU Has To Be Active And Effective

Indian Bank Association (IBA ) led by IBA, Mr. MV Tanksale has started giving news in newspapers to gain public opinion in their favour and to create  public opinion against bank staff by making them aware of so called irrational demand made by bank unions. On the contrary , there is little effort appears to have taken by United Front of Bank Unions (UFBU ) or bank staff to counter IBA's information missile fired against bank unions.

If officers union or award staff union wing do hard work and submit comparative chart of salary structure of employees of various companies, state and central government , PSUs and other organisation and prepare another chart of rate of growth of their salary since 1980 , I think demand of 23% wage hike will prove very little, it will be justified to demand even 50% hike or more. Private companies in IT sector or in other sector are giving on an average more than 10 % rise in salary per year.Bank unions will have to make all possible publicity through paper news, TV interviews, corner meetings to prove that demand for wage hike made by them for bank staff  is not high , not irrational and not illogical .

 But merely sitting in homes or coming out with some strike programme will not affect government of India at all. In the era of  internet banking, ATM and other options of private banks, strike by bank staff for a day or two is absolutely a futile exercise and people are least affected by such strike . When people are not affected , GOI is also not affected.  

It is open secret that Even during days of non-cooperation , officers work 9am to 9 pm. They do not heartily take part in strike or any programme of agitation. Leaders also are not effective, they think that merely by issuance of circular they can disturb and awaken government or IBA, it is their day dream. They do not take initiative to request or motivate or force their members to abide by agitation programme in true spirit for early victory.

Bank staff do not have militancy which they used to have in seventies and eighties. They are perhaps not bothered of wage hike or respect, they want promotion and for that indulge in flattery and bribery only. There may be some exceptions to my conclusion , but the public perception about bank strike is almost in the same line which I have narrated here in above.

People 's perception is still the same old one  that bank staff are high wage islanders. People of India still today are of the opinion that bank staff are getting huge salary and doing nothing. They treat bank employees nonperformers. Who will change this perception and how is a million dollar question. In seventies and to some extent upto eighties wage standard of bankers used to be better or at par with other government employees. It is the duty of union leaders in particular and bank staff in general to change this wrong perception of people of India about bank employees.

It is important to make it clear here that the GOI will not budge an inch until bank staff exhibit real unity, solidarity and militancy. Bank staff have already wasted two years time and nothing fruitful has precipitated despite efforts said to be taken by unions.

I have been writing since long that GOI understand the language of violence and disturbance in public work only. It is true that bank staff cannot be violent like others. Still there are numerous other ways to make the agitation effective and fruitful .  But they can seek the support of other India level trade unions to give a call of Bharat Bund for a day or two. Bank unions have in the past participated in Bharat Bund at the request of left parties and other trade unions.

You May Read My Blog On Attitude Of IBA by Clicking On This link

I have written in blog several times that union leaders will have to file hundreds and thousands of RTI of application to seek information of various banks, so that members of IBA are exposed and these members stop maligning the image of bank staff . It is IBA which is presenting distorted picture of salary of bank staff and it is leaders of bank unions who are also apparently part of such game.

Bank unions will have to collect data from each bank on each high value NPA account and disclose and expose the names of all past and present top officials who caused loss to bank. Unions will have to expose ministers, politicians and other officials who built pressure for sanction of loan to big corporate and big defaulters. They will have to expose officials who have been and who are hiding bad debts  to get incentive and blessing from ministry of Finance. They will have to make it crystal clear to GOI that bank staff are not responsible for downfall of bank or for rise in bad debts.

Rad Here How IBA is Irrational, Illogical , Unjustified And Whimsical in Denying Wage Hike

UFBU and bank staff in general  will have to prove that it is GOI which has damaged the fundamental of Public sector banks. They will have to repeatedly prove that until GOI uses PS banks to enforce social objective, they cannot be compared in profit with private banks. They will have to say IBA how banks have been used in different non-productive works. They will have to say how future of banks is getting spoilt due to their engagement in non-banking activities. They will have to prove how loans are going bad due to lack of manpower in branches in good quantity and with good quality.

GOI had nationalised bank not to earn profit but to do work in welfare of poor people of India as also to help entrepreneurs in bridging out Industrial revolution in the country. Bank unions will have to prove that banks were nationalised by Late Indira Gandhi to help farmers coming out of exploitation in the hands of local and looter money lenders.PS banks have been used by UPA government during last ten years to serve the  interest of big corporate houses from whom they used to get political fund. UPA government used banks to earn sympathy of farmers and poor persons by writing off their loans and thus it is they who created bad repayment culture in banks. And so on....

If bank unions do not do anything to  counter offensive attitude of IBA , I have little doubt that their war against injustice will flop or get punctured or be hijacked by some smaller splinter group of union. We have already seen some break in unity in bank unions and some erosion in their reliability  in last few months and we will face more breaking up of unity in bank staff and it will have devastating effect on the future of bank staff. There is no doubt that GOI will take advantage of disunity and exploit bank staff to their level best.

Following are news clippings of IBA against bank unions

Negotiate, don’t agitate: IBA to unions-Hindu Business Line

In the ongoing tug-of-war between unions and bank managements on the issue of wage revision, the Indian Banks’ Association has weighed in saying that the previous bipartite wage settlement was an exception as compared to earlier settlements and cannot be quoted as precedent.
Wage issues
This observation by IBA, which is the representative body of banks, comes in the backdrop of the 10th bipartite wage settlement in the banking sector being delayed for more than two years and unions, representing the interests of about 10 lakh employees, deciding to intensify their agitation for a wage hike.
According to the unions’ game plan, bank employees will not report to work for five days — January 7, and January 21 to 24 — next month to press their demand for a wage hike. If bank managements do not settle the issue of wage revision in January-February then the unions have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from mid-March.
While bank managements are willing to offer 11 per cent wage hike, the expectation of the unions is for a 25 per cent (negotiable to 23 per cent) wage hike.
In the previous (9th) bipartite wage settlement, covering 2007-2012, an average wage hike of around 17.5 per cent was given.
Pointing out that in the past seventh and eighth bipartite settlements, the wage increase was between 10 per cent and 13 per cent, the IBA, in a statement quoting its Chief Executive MV Tanksale, said, “The ninth bipartite settlement was an exception…
“In the current wage settlement, a hike of 11 per cent on salary and allowances has been offered, based on the paying capacity of all the banks, lower profitability, higher requirements for provisions and further capital requirement under Basel-III, translating into 12.5 per cent on the balance sheet cost. This too is unaffordable to some of the banks.”
Back to the table
The Association said the issues regarding wage negotiation deliberated in the Negotiating Committee of the IBA were further discussed in a larger forum — Managing Committee of IBA — and the Chairmen of all the banks felt the demand for 23 per cent increase made by the Unions/Associations is unaffordable, illogical, exorbitant and irrational.
While IBA has appealed to the Unions/Associations to give up the agitation and return to negotiations to resolve the wage revision issue, unions don’t seem to be in a mood to relent.
Vishwas Utagi, General Secretary, Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation, said bank managements are stonewalling employees’ demands for a wage hike by citing profitability constraints, the need to shore up capital for meeting the new Basel regulatory standard, and the provisioning burden.
“Bank employees are not responsible for the bad loans that have accumulated in the banking system.
In fact, they have helped banks grow their business and profitability. So, there is no reason why bank managements should deny our demands,” he said.

IBA terms staff unions' demand for 23% wage hike irrational-Business Standard

Banks offer 11% hike on salary and allowances
IBA has termed the demand by the United Forum of Bank Union for a 23 per cent increase in pay as “illogical and irrational”.  “Managing Committee of IBA and the Chairmen of all the banks were unequivocal in saying that the demand of 23 per cent increase of Unions/Associations is unaffordable, illogical, exorbitant and irrational,” it said.

The banks are willing to offer a 11 per cent hike on salary and allowances which the lenders say will translate into a 12.5 per cent hike on the balance sheet cost.  The IBA said this number has been arrived at after taking into account the paying capacity of the banks, lower profitability, higher requirements for provisions and further capital requirement under Basel-III.

Earlier, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said a meeting of the UFBU held at Mumbai on December 17 had expressed its dissatisfaction with the delay in settling demands for wage revision.

Fourteen rounds of discussion have been held so far between the union and IBA and consensus on  effective date of implementation and merger of dearness allowance have been arrived at. However, they have not been able to arrive at an agreement on wage hike yet.

The UFBU had said that it would be holding a one-day all-India strike on January 7 followed by a four-day strike across the country from January 21-24. An indefinite strike would be initiated from March 16 to achieve the demand, it had added.

On the other IBA has made an appeal to UFBU to give up the agitational path and to return to the table for further negotiations. In the meantime, IBA has also requested all member banks to assess their paying capacity and advise them accordingly

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