Mail News Service
Jamshedpur, April 20: The world’s largest trade union body, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) is all set to observe its platinum Jubilee on April 28 for which members have lined up a plethora of activities.
Through 75 years of its foundation, AIBEA has ensured that employees were not exploited by managements. The Association also made it a point that bank employees dedicated their services to the people based on the maxim, ‘A customer is the most important visitor at our premises. He is the purpose of our work.’ This maxim has continued although AIBEA’s fight for the rights of employees has never been on a bed of roses. Hard bargaining, strikes, loss of pay and suspensions have ruled almost all the bipartite settlements.
In a tete-a-tete with AIBEA’s state unit Jharkhand Bank Employees Association (JBEA) general secretary RB Sahay, one learnt that bank employees were dead against privatization of public sector units (PSUs). He said, “We held an online meeting last Saturday in which we reiterated our decision to bolster our agitation against the central government’s move to privatize banks. This very thought is renegade because it betrays the aspirations of the people especially the rural segment where agriculture, pisciculture and animal husbandry are the staple occupations and where the banks have moved out and still continue to help them. Privatization will rob the middle class of banking facilities including the various loan schemes designed for the middle and lower economic segments.”
While on the subject, the JBEA general secretary stated that in case the government made official announcement of privatization, AIBEA would go in for flash strike. “We have our responsibility towards the customers as well as for the common man. We cannot afford to see banks crossing back to the domains of capitalists who will make hay with people’s money.”
RB Sahay said that AIBEA will seek assistance from likeminded trade union bodies and launch an awareness campaign to make people aware of the ‘poisonous proposition’ of the central government vis-à-vis its proposed bank privatization move. “We are to start a signature campaign of customers and the general people by garnering their support against the centre’s move to privatize banks. We are sure that the people will realize the grave danger of banks moving into capitalists’ pockets.”
Sahay said, “Jharkhand bank branches have been given a target of five lakh signatures to be collected within May that will be handed over to the Speaker and the Prime Minister to open the government’s eyes to reality.”
Moving on to the AIBEA platinum jubilee celebrations which will be on April 28, Sahay informed, “Actually, the death anniversary of one of our founder members Comrade HL Parwana was observed on April 18. On that very day, we decided to observe AIBEA’s platinum jubilee as ‘Rededication Day’ as mark of our gratitude to the bulwarks of our great union, Comrades Prabhat Kar, HL Parwana, Tarakeshwar Chakraborty and others.”
AIBEA (JBEA) members will distribute free masks and sanitizers among the clientele at all branches and the general people as a part of the jubilee observation.
With his cell phone buzzing intermittently, the all important conversation concluded but not before observing a mark of determination in Sahay’s eyes in spite of his disarming smile in adieu.