Whenever I glance over a face flooded with tears in the eye lids in agony for some reason or the other and their cries lost in the wilderness with none bothering to listen to them, my heart springs up to peremptorily harness myself to the avenues for redressing their grievances and see a light of smiles on the faces of the aggrieved persons. The current momentum generated by this blog has the pointed focus on the workforce in Banking industry with particular reference to State Bank of India highlighting in relation to sorting out Pension issues and compassionate appointments. There are thousands of comments by different people sumptuously admiring our efforts but there are certain negative views too expressed by some of the readers. They suffer from a misunderstanding as if every thing is in our hands. One such comment sent on my email address says ‘…. no body, not even Neelkanth sir or K.R. Saini ji’ can do any thing to help us’. I don’t know what could be the purpose behind such a negative utterance except that it could be to malign our move. People could be free to analyze our efforts but they are not supposed to overlap the genuine endeavours made by us with a committed resolve to help the needy. Please bear with us without allowing dissuasive elements to side track the basic approach with a mission.
Different trade union organisations including those operating in banks were on strike on 20th and 21st February’2013 pressing for their demands on various issues seeking resolution of their grievances pending for a long time. Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, issued an appeal to call of the strike, of course without any tangibly positive assurance to the unions. The appeal so made was obviously unheeded. The public and the media both vehemently condemned the move on the grounds that it was an exercise to result into lot of problems and inconvenience to the people of the country in general. Some of them also said that the action as such was politically motivated and aimed at deliberately causing embarrassment to the ruling collusion government at the behest of the opposition. This is some thing far from the truth. Work was struck by the unions, true, but every protest or some other action can’t be construed as the one bucked up by the political parties in opposition. Unions have their own identities and are adult enough to decide as to what is there in their interest, and what is not. They don’t require any masters from the outside to direct any such movement. Why not take a view of the unions legitimate demands?. Every time they staged a protest or struck work in pursuance of their demands, they were given some kind of an assurance or the other to do the needful in the matter of their grievances, but it was nothing more than a political ritual forming a sheer bluff mongering. After all how long the unions can wait?. There is limit to every thing and so is there in regard to their patience. Patience over brimmed, they were left with no alternative but to resort to the action of strike. What else they could do?.
Employees in banking industry including State Bank observed strike yesterday and this continues today also as per schedule. Most of the employees, say more or less majority of them, take it as a holiday for themselves. Thanks to the erosion in money value, as they hardly feel any pinch for the wage cut. Persons belonging to the management too had a good respite whiling away their time more leisurely. They had their customary announcement through the media that the inconvenience caused to the customers is regretted. Beyond that they had nothing to do, they rather had a good sleep last night. Every thing was taken as a ritual and all went on smoothly excepting some news here and there that banking industry suffered a big loss (of course with usual jugglery in numericals) due to this strike. Customers too had a good day meeting their urgencies withdrawing necessary amount of cash through the local ATMs, which have mushroomed in every galee (street) throughout the city and even in rural areas.
Strikes in earlier days took place as a last resort for redressal of the grievances against the concerned management, and they were certainly a powerful means to cause necessary jolt to the employers to the extent that they had ultimately to bow down before the respective unions in an affirmative measure demands wise. Nothing of this sort appears to be the possibility after this strike, as there are no such indications at least till now. If something tangible occurs, well and good with thanks to the present leadership; if not, obviously a cycle of call for strike followed by a call off continues in a ritualistic order in days to come.