Bank of Maharashtra has been in the news in recent times for all the wrong reasons. As reported in Bank Workers’ Unity dated 13th February 2023 the United Forum of MahaBankUnions(UFMU) in Bank of Maharashtra went on strike for 3 days – January 27th, February 9th and 10th 2023 – against the anti-employee attitude of the Management, which resorted to harassment and victimisation of its employees. It included 2 days wage cut for a day’s strike, closing down of Union Offices which have been functioning for more than 50 years, unfettered outsourcing of core jobs, etc. Though the business volume increased by 250% over the last decade the employee strength reduced by 20% thereby bringing pressure on employees.
The unrelenting Management forced the employees and officers into further course of action and the UFMU announced two days strike on 28th and 29th March 2023 and continued preparations preceding the strike program in right earnest. In the meantime Union leaders in Bank of Maharashtra were subjected to transfers and charge sheets. For the 3 days strike the Management deducted 7 days wages. In spite of all this intimidation and atrocities by the Management the employees were firm in their resolve to go on for further two days strike.
Under this background the Management held talks with the Unions on 24th March 2023 and conciliation proceedings on 27th March 2023 and agreed to many of the conditions of the Unions which prompted the Unions to defer the strike program. The Management agreed to recruit 300 clerks and 400 officers by June 2023, to revisit its transfer orders and charge sheets issued to Union leaders, to reintroduce the check off system for Union subscription amongst other important issues agreed by the Management.
It is obvious that only a United Struggle by all the employees of Bank of Maharashtra has made the Management to have a rethink and come out with a positive approach on the issues raised by the fighting Unions. Needless to say that the adamant and dictatorial Management of Bank of Maharashtra is no match to the United and Spirited leadership and a fighting cadre. The quote “Eternal Vigilance is the price of Liberty” is so true in the saga of the spirited struggle in Bank of Maharashtra which is a necessary lesson and a morale booster to the sagging spirits of the bank employee movement in the country.