Bank employees movement is a history in itself, a history of sacrifices, martyrdom and betrayals too. There are numerous stories in this regard, some of which have already been highlighted in my book ‘Beyond the barriers’ (still in publication stage). The result of the sacrifices made by the fore runners of this movement is there to day in the shape of All India Bank Employees Association and All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (an affiliate of National Confederation of Bank Employees). These two giant sized trade union organisations were subsequently followed by several others including officers Unions and Federations of which All India State Bank of India Officers Federation is a part. One who goes into the background of the total movement so launched by the founders of these trade union organisations will find that it is all red in tooth and claw with their blood. The movements so initially launched were nearly a total success, but the other side of it is that there were betrayers too to sabotage them. It is a myth that all people belonging to the management are negative in their approach to the grievances of the employees. This in fact is just a fallacy that all managements pamper rivalry in trade unions. There are many from employees side who suffer from such a fallacy nurturing a temptation that if they are able to keep the management representatives in good humour with flattery as a weapon for the purpose, they can well be rewarded in some form or the other. They are sadly mistaken. There is a story which runs like this:
During the historical all India level strike launched by the then Imperial Bank of India (Now State Bank of India) employees in August’1946, which continued for 46 days, there were two of them at Kanpur who went in hiding to abstain from strike call. They joined their duties in the Bank. Strike was a tremendous success and it was over. Per chance the said two employees fell badly sick and there was no leave due to them. They requested the then local management to grant them special leave on the plea that they were loyal to the management and had actively worked in the Bank during the period strike was on. The concerned management representative, a Britisher. lost his temper telling both the employees like this: ‘Look, you worked during the strike, you were duly paid for the period so involved, beyond this if you expect any thing, you are mistaken as I am the last man to reward you for the reason that you betrayed your people’, both of you are nothing but saboteurs’.
Currently officers in State Bank of India are agitated on their grievances being not duly entertained by their management. There is some news that there are certain officers who are shirking from joining the move for the fear that the Bank’s management may get annoyed and it may harm them. It is for them to realise that the interest of officers in general is much more important than the vested interest of a few.