By our Special Correspondent
The 29th conference of AIBEA was held from 13th to 15th May, 2023 in Mumbai. Nearly 3000 Delegates and Observers which includes sizeable number of Youth and Women comrades throughout the country attended the conference. The Delegate session commenced on 13th May, 2023 . Com.C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA presented the Report. He said that the last conference in Mumbai was held in the year 2000 and during this period bank employees gone on 42 days strike on various occasions. He further said that till now we have ensured that the Government could not bring about the Privatisation of Bill in Parliament because of strikes and struggles of bank employees. He also said that AIBEA had invited various foreign delegates to this conference because the working class throughout the world is fighting against the exploitation of the workers. Hence, it is necessary to understand what is happening in various countries. He also placed various developments that are taking place in national, banking industry and the future task. He further said that the pending issues relating to 11th Bipartite settlement including 5 Day banking, updation of pension etc. are already discussed with IBA. Demands for 12th BPS wage revision have been submitted and the UBFU will be taking up the issue with IBA in the coming weeks.
Delegates debated on the General Secretary report. Many young delegates including women comrades took part in the deliberations. Majority of the delegates spoke on the shortage of Clerks and Sub-staff in various branches which leads to heavy working pressure on the existing employees. Some bank managements are using the services of Banking Correspondents, Cost to Company employees to perform the regular works of the clerks and sub-staff. Hence, there must be immediate recruitment of adequate clerks and sub-staff in all the banks. Like-wise outsourcing of our regular jobs is done in some banks which have to be opposed by the Unions.
General Secretary while replying to the deliberations informed that AIBEA will commence agitation programme exclusively in the matter of recruitment of clerks and sub-staff. He also said that AIBEA will continuously oppose the move of the central government to privatise the public sector banks.
Various Resolutions including On Retrograde banking sector reforms and privatization of Banks, On adequate recruitment, Against outsourcing of regular jobs, Organising Contract and Cost to Company Employees, On early introduction of 5 day banking, Filling up of Workman Director posts in Banks, Updation of Pension etc. were adopted unanimously.
Greetings by Leaders :
Com.P. Sainath, Chairman Reception Committee in his address had applauded the banking employees unions as it had played a great role in addressing the rural distress. Kisan fight against the farm laws was the greatest fight in the country and bank unions supported the farmers fight.
Com.Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary AITUC in her speech had said that the Labour Codes are brought by the Central Government only to reduce the bargaining power of the trade unions and to facilitate the international capital to invest in India with the aim of ease of doing business. She said that bank employees should fight against the economic policies of the government which is helping only the rich class and to vote for such parties that will support the workers, religious peace and harmony and create an environment in the country where democracy will remain intact.
Various International Trade Union leaders including Com.Pambis, General Secretary, World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) greeted the conference.
Special Guest including Mrs.Supriya Sule, MP, NCP, Com.Binoy Vishwam, MP, CPI, Com.Sukhdev Singh, Farmers’ Leader greeted the conference.
Fraternal Trade Unions leaders Com.S.K. Bandlish, General Secretary, NCBE and Covenor of UFBU, Com.Debashish Basu, General Secretary, BEFI , leaders from LIC Employees’ Federation, GIC Employees’ Federation, All India Bank Retirees Federation greeted the conference.
The Conference re-elected Com.Rajen Nagar as President, Com.C.H.Venkatachalam as General Secretary and Com.C.S.Venugopal as Treasurer along with team of other Office Bearers. The Conference resolved to continue its campaign and struggle against the unwarranted banking sector reforms, privatization attempts and to commence agitation for recruitment of adequate workmen in the coming period.
Maharashtra State Bank Employees’ Federation took great efforts in conducting this conference in a grand manner.