The entire workmen of Central Bank of India struck work jointly for two days on 19th and 20th September 2022 against the unjust act of the Management in illegally transferring the workmen, privatisation attempt, outsourcing etc.
In April 2022, Central Bank of India management had suddenly transferred more than 4000 clerks including women employees in violation of the Bi-partite settlement and internal settlement. Against this blatant violation of the settlement and also against the Privatisation of Public Sector Banks, Outsourcing etc., the United Forum of Central Bank of India Unions (UFCBU) comprising of AIBEA, BEFI, INBEF, NCBE, NOBW jointly gave 2 days All India Strike call on 30th & 31st May, 2022. At the intervention of the Deputy Cheif Labour Commissioner, Mumbai management had agreed to look into the transfers effected by them based on the representations received from the individual employees and also discuss other issues as mentioned in the strike notice. Based on this, the strike call was withdrawn.
During this period, more than 900 employees have sent individual representations to the management to reconsider the transfers as per the settlement. However, even after more than 3 months, the management had not considered even a single transfer case. Protesting against this lethargic anti-employee attitude of the management, UFCBU had against given a call for 2 days’ all India strike on 19th & 20th September 2022. When the entire workforce in Central Bank of India were gearing up to observe two days strike to vent their anger against the anti-employee attitude of the management, right from 18th September 2022 Sunday onwards, management of Central Bank of India had resorted to adopting unethical methods to break the strike call. Instructions were given by the Executive Director to all the Branch Managers to use the services of Business Correspondents to perform the clerical work on the strike days. He also went to the extent of threatening the employees that there would be break-in service if any employee participated in the strike.
Braving all odds, the entire workforce in CBI under the banner of UFCBU had successfully observed two days strike. Unable to digest the success of this strike, the General Manager had instructed all the Branch Managers to send the list of employees who have defied the strike call and attended the office for compensating the strike breakers.
The struggle launched by the Workmen in Central Bank of India cannot be viewed in isolation. It is against the violation of the bi-partite settlements. Strike is the right of the working class. In the past, managements of the public sector banks had not stooped so low like the present CBI management. It clearly shows the true character of the CBI management which is setting a bad precedent. It may not be out of place to mention here that Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of RBI, in his report, has stated that if the government is not able to privatise the public sector banks, at least change the character of the public sector banks so that the Board is dominated by private players. This is what we are witnessing today in the functioning of the public sector banks.
Today it is Central Bank of India, tomorrow it may be any other Bank. Hence Bank employees cannot be complacent and have to be vigilant in fighting against this type of anti-employees’ attitude of the bank managements. The fight in the CBI has to be further intensified with the support of the apex level UFBU.