Circular No.26 / 3 / 2008 / 38 December 1, 2008
To All Units & Members
26th Conference – a Glorious Success
BANKING FOR EMPOWERMENT OF MASSES
NOT FOR EMBEZZLEMENT OF THEIR SAVINGS
The 26th Conference of AIBEA held at New Delhi from 15th to 18th November 2008, has ended as a glorious success. The Delhi Conference was yet another milestone in the onward march of our movement and has taken AIBEA to greater heights of glory & triumph.
‘Parvana Nagar’ & ‘Prabhat Kar Manch’ – the venue named in remembrance of our Titans:
As a befitting tribute to our great leaders, the entire conference venue was named as ‘Parvana Nagar’ and the Auditorium was named as ‘Prabhat Kar Manch’ which made every participant to remember and recollect the unparalleled contributions of these titanic leaders to our movement.
The Massive Procession by 10,000 soldiers of AIBEA – a sight to see:
The Conference began with a massive procession by more than 10000 employees – Delegates, Observers, employees from Delhi and large number of employees from the neighbouring States of Punjab, Haryana and other nearby places. The procession was led by veteran leaders like Com. Manoranjan Bose, Com. P. L. Syal, Com. N. Sampath, Com. P.S. Sundaresan, and Office Bearers of AIBEA with Com. Rajen Nagar, our President in the lead. All the foreign delegates also walked along in the procession. The colourful brigade of women activists of Delhi Federation were marching in the forefront holding 26 flags of AIBEA to mark the occasion. All the State Federations marched under their respective banners. The processionists raised slogans on our current demands and campaign issues. The procession attracted the attention of the onlookers for the disciplined manner in which the comrades took part in the march with total enthusiasm and conviction.
Public Session – A mini India:
The procession culminated at Parvana Nagar / Ram Lila Grounds for the Public Session. The specially erected huge pandal resembled a mini India with delegates from every State present in the auditorium. Com. Amarjit Kaur, Chairperson of the Reception Committee in her inspiring welcome address recalled the glorious role of AIBEA and hoped that the Conference would focus on the present challenges confronting the banking trade union movement.
Gurudas Dasgupta – Inaugural address:
Com. Gurudas Dasgupta, M.P. & General Secretary of AITUC, in his inspiring inaugural address narrated how the continuous struggles of bank employees had helped to push back the agenda of banking reforms and complimented AIBEA for its leading role. While talking on the global economic crisis, he cautioned that the fallout of the crisis would be attempted to be thrust on the shoulders of the workers and employees and hence AIBEA has to continue its leading role in the years ahead.
Chief Guest – Mrs. Shiela Dixit, the Chief Minister of Delhi:
Mrs. Shiela Dixit, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi, who participated in our Conference as Chief Guest despite her busy electioneering schedule, congratulated AIBEA for organizing such a massive Conference in Delhi and conveyed her best wishes for its success. She particularly complimented AIBEA for mobilizing large number of women participants.
Honourable Minister for Labour Shri. Oscar Fernandes, the Special Guest:
Shri. Oscar Fernandes, Hon’ble Minister for Labour, Government of India, while emphasizing the need for a strong trade union movement to protect the rights of the workers, exhorted upon the trade unions to come to the rescue of the unorganized sections of the workers in the country. He said that the powerful trade union movement like AIBEA shall have to play pivotal role in organizing the unorganized workers. He assured his co-operation in all the legitimate aspirations of the working classes as he is a staunch believer of strong trade unions. He also paid a glorious tribute to the important role played by the Public Sector Banks in achieving economic progress and being helpful to the needs of the common man.
Greetings by other leaders:
The Public Session was addressed by Com. H. Mahadevan, Deputy General Secretary, WFTU, Com. Sukumol Sen, General Secretary, Trade Union International of Public & Allied Employees, Com. R.J. Sridharan, General Secretary, AIBOA, Com. A.V. Nachene, General Secretary, All India LIC Employees Federation and Com. N.D. Sundaresan, General Secretary, General Insurance Employees All India Association, all of whom highlighted the increasing challenges before the trade unions and the need for broader struggles.
With a vote of thanks by Com. J.P. Sharma, President, Delhi State Bank Employees Federation, the Public Session came to a successful conclusion.
On 16th November morning, the Delegates’ Session began with the hoisting of our AIBEA flag by our octogenarian veteran leader Com. P.L. Syal followed by paying homage at the martyr’s column.
The Conference elected the presidium consisting of Com. Rajen Nagar, Com. P.N. Tewari, Com. R.D. Trivedi, Com. K. K. Bhattacharya and Com. P.D. Singh to conduct the proceedings of the Delegates' Session.
Com. Rajen Nagar, our President, in his address brought to the attention of the participants the background in which the Conference is being held and the need to go on an offensive campaign and struggles against the banking reforms since the events the world over have proved the invalidity of the reform policies.
The Conference paid its homage and respects to all the personalities and leaders who had passed away during the period as well as the people and workers who had lost their lives in the cause of struggles by observing 2 minutes silence.
General Secretary’s Report
On behalf of the Central Committee, the 350 paged Report of the General Secretary was explained and placed before the house for discussions and adoption. The Report dealt in detail the current international and national scenario, the challenges in the banking sector, the position obtaining in Co-operative Banks and Regional Rural Banks, the struggles conducted so far, the present challenges, the need for further struggles, our pending demands, our successful agitations and strikes, the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, the need for a stronger organization with better orientation & the tasks ahead of all of us. The discussion on the Report was bifurcated into plenary session and commissions. There were two commissions i.e. 1) on National and International Scenario and the Banking Sector (2) On demands, struggles and organization. As many as 118 Delegates & Observers spoke on the Report with their constructive suggestions and positive view points. After an elaborate reply to the debate by the General Secretary, the Report was adopted unanimously.
Statements of Accounts:
The Statements of Accounts of AIBEA and of ‘Bank Flag’ for the years ended 31st December, 2004 to 2007 was placed before the Conference by Com. E. Arunachalam, our Treasurer, and the same was approved unanimously.
Amendments to Rules:
The Conference unanimously approved the amendments proposed for providing guaranteed delegation to Women employees to the Conference, additional representation for women in the Central Committee of AIBEA and providing representation for major All India Bank-wise organizations in the Central Committee of AIBEA.
Foreign Delegates – the bond of fraternity and solidarity:
As though to coincide with the 63rd year of AIBEA, the Conference had the unique privilege of having the presence of 63 fraternal Foreign Delegates representing 21 organizations from 14 countries, namely Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Sabah (Malaysia), Greece, Ireland, Mauritius & Uzbekistan.
Delegates from Sudan, Syria and DPR Korea could not come due to problems in getting visa on time. Delegates from Japan, China, Singapore & South Africa could not attend our Conference due to organizational pre-occupations.
Their greetings and solidarity messages were of immense benefit to AIBEA in understanding their viewpoints and ideas.
ARO BIFU launched – Asian unity and our expanding horizon :
As scheduled and planned, on the 15th November morning, the Asian Regional Organization of Bank, Insurance & Financial Sector Unions (ARO BIFU) was launched in which 68 Delegates representing 20 Unions from 12 Asian countries participated. It was a culmination of AIBEA’s decade long efforts to build unity and co-ordination amongst bank & finance sector union in Asia. ARO BIFU has generated enthusiasm and hope amongst the participants to move together in facing the challenges.
Com. C.H. Venkatachalam was elected as President and Com M R Shah of Srilanka was elected as Secretary General of ARO BIFU while Com. Rajen Nagar was elected as a member of the Directive Bureau.
Delegation from AIBOA – the other side of our coin :
A 15 member delegation from AIBOA led by Com. Nagarajan, Deputy General Secretary, participated in our Conference as Fraternal Delegates reflecting the co-ordination and fraternity between AIBEA & AIBOA.
UFBU leaders’ greetings – the growing unity:
The Conference was enthused by the presence of the UFBU leaders and the fraternal greetings by Com. L. Balasubramanian, President, NCBE, Com. G.D. Nadaf, General Secretary, AIBOC, Com. Pradip Biswas, General Secretary, BEFI, & Com. Ashwani Rana, General Secretary, NOBW. Com. K.K. Nair, General Secretary, INBOC had sent his greetings due to his inability to attend the Conference.
Special Seminar – the Special highlight:
The Special highlight of the Conference was the Seminar on “Financial Crisis – its causes, culprits, remedies and tasks”. The Seminar was addressed by Prof. Arunkumar, the noted Economist, Mrs. Sucheta Dalal, the noted journalist & Prof. Babu Mathew, the noted Social activist. Their speeches & views were heard with rapt attention and highly appreciated by the participants.
To focus on the need for expanding the role of women employees in our movement and to receive their suggestions and views on further steps to be taken by AIBEA in ensuing better involvement of women employees in trade union activities and responsibilities, as well as on their exclusive demands, a special Convention of Women employees was held on 17th November. The Convention was chaired by a presidium consisting of the Women Central Committee members of AIBEA. It is very notable that 240 Women Delegates & Observers took part in the Conference – a record number so far. Com. Lalita Joshi, Joint Secretary of AIBEA & Convenor of the All India Women’s Council presented a report on the important activities undertaken by them in various States. Number of suggestions were voiced by the participants. The General Secretary informed that the Rules & Bye-laws are being amended to provide for induction of more Women Central Committee Members and additional guaranteed women delegates to AIBEA Conferences. The Convention was addressed by Com. Amarjit Kaur who appreciated the active role of women employees in the AIBEA.
Special address by Com. Gurudas Dasgupta
Another important highlight of the Conference was the Special Speech delivered by Com. Gurudas Dasgupta, General Secretary – AITUC in the Delegates’ Session on 17th November 2008. He gave a graphic picture of the overall scenario and cautioned that there are increasing attacks on our jobs, job security, emoluments and benefits, on our rights and service conditions. He expressed his satisfaction that AIBEA is playing a positive role in unleashing struggles against these attacks and assured the help of AITUC in our efforts to achieve our demands. He also appealed that AIBEA should take initiatives in organizing the un-organised workers and also play an increasing role in the mainstream of trade union movement besides championing the cause of the bank employees. His scintillating address was applauded with standing ovation.
Prabhat Kar’s Centenary – 2009-10 :
The Conference decided to undertake elaborate and nationwide programme to celebrate and commemorate the birth centenary of the doyen of our movement Com. Prabhat Kar from 13th October 2009 to 13th October 2010.
The Conference adopted the following resolutions.
In Memoriam – Homage
On Government’s anti-people economic policies and anti-worker labour policies and the need to unite with the general trade union movement and rest of the working class to fight back.
On price rise
On Banking Industry, our demands and struggles.
On our demand for pension for all and one more option.
On successful completion of 8th Bipartite Settlement.
On compassionate appointment scheme.
On Bonus to all employees and officers.
On recruitments and revival of Banking Service Recruitment Boards.
On automatic coverage of pension scheme to employee recruited between 1-11-93 and September, 1995.
On expeditious settlement of 9th Bipartite wage revision demands.
On Bank Deposit Collectors and their demands.
On customer service.
On women employees in our union movement.
On strengthening United Forum of Bank Unions.
On outsourcing and attacks on jobs & job security.
On demands of retired employees.
On Regional Rural Banks.
On strengthening our unions in Gramin Banks.
On celebration of Com. Prabhat Kar’s Centenary.
On strengthening AIBOA and improving co-ordination between AIBEA and AIBOA and our Units.
On organisation – our priority and our tasks.
On Co-operative Banking sector.
On strengthening our unions in Co-operative Banks.
On amendment to Rules and Bye-laws.
Thanking Reception Committee and Delhi State Bank Employees Federation.
Election of New Team :
Thereafter, the Conference elected the following team of Office-bearers unanimously for the next term.
Com. Rajen Nagar, West Bengal
Com. N K Gaur, Punjab
Com. P N Tewari, Uttar Pradesh
Com. Mahesh Mishra, Rajasthan
Com. J P Sharma, Delhi
Com. C H Venkatachalam, Tamilnadu
Com. V R Utagi, Maharashtra
Com. B S Rambabu, Andhra Pradesh
Com. Lalita Joshi, Maharashtra
Com. V K Sharma, Madhya Pradesh
Com. Satish Khanolkar, Maharashtra
Com. P R Karanth, Karnataka
Com. Gourdas, West Bengal
Com. R Vijayakumar Tamilnadu
Com. D D Rustagi, Delhi
Com. P P Varghese, Kerala
Com. E Arunachalam, Tamilnadu
Comrades, the 26th Conference was a glorious success. The massive procession, the impressive public session, the participation of a record number of 2500 delegates & observers, enlarged participation in the discussion and debate on the Report, the participation of large number of women employees, the record number of foreign delegates, the educative seminar, the total involvement and disciplined participation by delegates & observers in the Conference proceedings, the unanimity in adopting the General Secretary’s Report and Accounts, Amendments & Resolutions, election of new team of Office-Bearers, the elaborate arrangements made by the Reception Committee – everything contributed to the great success of the Conference.
But more important is the inspiring task chalked out by the Conference to build a militant and offensive movement to stop the banking reform policies and to fight for our demands for better service conditions and wages of bank employees.
Reception Committee – a great job done:
In a metropolitan city like Delhi with all its complexities, to host a Conference of this magnitude is a Herculean task. But the job was undertaken by Delhi State Bank Employees Federation and they have accomplished the job very successfully. Right from receiving the delegates at Railway Station to providing accommodation and food, arranging for the comfortable stay of the foreign delegates, providing all other infrastructure for the participants, making all arrangements for the foreign delegates – the entire delegates & observers had only one thing to say – Three cheers to the DSBEF.
Comrades, the Conference has ended successfully. But for a trade union like ours, Conference is only a launching pad for further activities and actions. If the period from the 25th Conference was full of struggles with an unparalleled 32 strike actions, the period ahead will be no different. The conference has given us the agenda. The Conference has outlined our priorities. It is for us to translate them into actions.
Unity – more and more unity;
Struggles – more and more struggles;
Achievements – more and more achievements
This shall be our watchword in our onward march.
While the 26th Conference has consigned itself to a glorious history, let us draw inspiration from this Conference and move forward.
ONWARD TO STRUGGLES, ONWARD TO ACTIONS, ONWARD TO SUCCESS
C H VENKATACHALAM