We reproduce herein the text of the AIBEA Circular No. 26/35/2009/30, dt. 8.8.2009 regarding two days continuous bank strike and the outcome of the emergent conciliation meeting with the Chief Labour Commissioner (C), held at New Delhi for information of all our units and members.
B S RAMBABU
TEXT OF THE UFBU CIRCULAR NO. 15, DT. 7.8.2009
· HATS OFF TO YOU - CONGRATULATIONS FOR THE GRAND SUCCESS OF OUR TWO DAYS STRIKE ON 6TH AND 7TH AUGUST
Salutes to all our members ! Congratulations. Once again the total unity and traditional militancy of the bank employees and officers have been so well-manifested, if at all anyone had any doubt about it. The 2 days continuous strike at the call of UFBU has been a roaring success. The participation has been so huge and massive. The turn out in the processions, rallies and demonstrations have been unprecedented. It was wholesome and overwhelming. Hats off to all our unions and members. You have done it again.
Our strike on 12th June was deferred because the IBA appeared to be positive and an agreement seemed possible. But the events thereafter have proved the designs of the Government and the bankers. Not only they went back on their offer, most shockingly, in the talks held as late as on 4-8-2009, they reduced their offer to 13%. They went back on the understandings on pension option as already agreed upon and informed further that the revised scheme on compassionate ground appointment/financial compensation scheme as mutually worked out cannot be implemented. They went back on all the issues and made a mockery of the negotiations held so far. It was obvious that the Government was calling the shots from behind. Hence, there was no alternative for the UFBU than to go ahead with the strike action. The last minute conditional offer of IBA could not be accepted by the UFBU. The employees and officers rightfully showed their resentment and anger over the IBA/Government going back on their offer and commitments. The insult and humiliation was befittingly answered by this strike.
About our strike, some newspaper editorials condemned the strike; the Corporates were furious; the Government was unhappy; the banking public were no doubt inconvenienced. But who was responsible for this ? UFBU served the strike notice on 16-7-2009. But IBA held the talks only on 4-8-2009 just one day prior to the strike. And if the bankers and Government go back on their commitments and offers, what do we do ? Can we keep quite ? Hence strike was the answer.
Our strike could not be ignored. The press and media conceded that the strike was total and full. The issue was raised both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the Parliament. Sri. Sanjiva Reddy, Sri. Gurudas Dasgupta, Sri. Basudev Acharya, Sri. Mulaym Singh Yadav, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Sri. Sharad Yadav, Sri. R C Singh, Sri. Tapen Sen and many other leaders took up our cause. We are thankful to them.
Emergent Conciliation Meeting: In the background of the total resentment of the bank employees and officers and the massive success of our strike, the Government had to move in and the Chief Labour Commissioner, Ministry of Labour, Government of India convened a meeting today at 3-00 PM in his office in Delhi.
IBA was represented by Sri Ramakrishnan, Chief Executive, Mr. Unnikrishnan, Dy. Chief Executive and Mr. Venugopal, Officer on Special Duty. UFBU was represented by leaders of our constituent unions.
In this meeting, the IBA informed that they have reconsidered the matter and made the following offer as a package:
1. Increase in wages: 17.5 % increase over the establishment expenses of Banks as on 31-3-2007.
2. New Pension Scheme to be introduced to new entrants with effect from 1-4-2010.
3. The existing PF optees may be given another option for pension as per understanding reached between IBA and UFBU on 9th June, 2009 when it was agreed that the employees would share Rs. 1800 crores out of Rs. 6000 crores funding gap identified in the joint actuarial valuation subject to the condition that at the time of the next settlement again another actuarial valuation will be carried out and the funding gap so arrived at would be shared in the ratio of 30% by the employees and 70% by the management.
4. Compassionate appointment issue would be discussed separately.
After discussing the above offer of the IBA within the UFBU meeting, it was informed to the CLC and IBA that while taking note of the offer, the Unions need further clarifications and discussions and hence suggested a bipartite meeting for the same. CLC suggested that the IBA and UFBU may hold bipartite discussions at the earliest. The date of bipartite talks will be fixed up at the earliest.
Further developments will be informed to unions and members in due course.