AIBEA’s 7TH ALL INDIA CONVENTION OF WOMEN BANK EMPLOYEES HELD AT MUMBAI – AN ASTOUNDING SUCCESS
CIRCULAR NO. 27/92/2015/3 14th January, 2015
To ALL UNITS AND MEMBERS :
•AIBEA’s 7TH ALL INDIA CONVENTION OF WOMEN BANK EMPLOYEES HELD AT MUMBAI – AN ASTOUNDING SUCCESS
The 7th National Convention of Women Bank Employees organised by us at Mumbai from 19th to 21st December, 2014 was an astounding success. Large number of delegates – blended by seniors and very young employees – from all Banks and from all the States – enthusiastic participation in the deliberations – impressive response from youngsters – enlightened and articulated discussions on the Report – clarity in views and suggestions – visible exuberance of self-confidence and faith in the organisation – total discipline and decorum during the sessions – commendable arrangements by the hosts MSBEF – all these were the highlights of the Convention.
Large participation: Nearly 500 Delegates from all the States and from all the Banks participated in the Convention. This was the largest participation so far as compared to the previous Conventions. More striking was the impressive participation of more than 150 young women employees with less than 5 years’ service and taking part in the Convention for the first time. Ofcourse there were also quite a number of delegates who had attended all the previous 6 Conventions. Thus there was a nice mixture and blend of seniors and juniors in the composition of delegates.
Delegates from abroad: 16 Delegates from National Union of Bank Employees – (NUBE), Malaysia, Banks, Insurance & Finance Union (BIFU) Nepal and Ceylon Bank Employees Union (CBEU), Srilanka participated in the Convention at the invitation of AIBEA. This provided a very good opportunity to exchange the experiences of women bank employees in these countries.
Public Session: Address by Com. Amarjeet Kaur: On 20th December, 2014, the Open Public Session was held and the Session was inaugurated by Com. Amarjeet Kaur, Secretary, All India Trade union Congress. In her inspiring and hard-hitting speech, she appreciated AIBEA for its consistent efforts to integrate women employees in the mainstream of trade union activities as well as to empower them in trade union functioning. She congratulated the women employees for their large and impressive participation in the Convention. During her speech, she lauded the expanding role of the AIBEA’s Women’s Council and expressed her satisfaction that as compared to the first Convention held in 1995, there has been lot many improvements in the activities of the Women’s Council. Narrating the plight of the women in society in general and working women in particular, she appealed that there must be more and more awareness about these problems amongst women employees so that they would be enabled to play their due role in fighting thereagainst.
Commenting on the economic and labour policies of the BPJ/NDA Government, she lashed out at their pro-capitalist and anti-poor approach and cautioned that these policies would be further aggravated in the days to come. She highlighted the need to unitedly fight against these retrograde policies and the need for women employees to play a leading role.
Talking of banking sector, she extolled the struggle being continuously carried on by AIBEA in defense of public sector banking and against attempts to privatise the Banks. She pointed out that in the name of bad loans, public money is being looted and that we must resist all these attempts.
The Session was also addressed by Mrs. Sreemathi, DGM-HRD from Bank of India who conveyed the greetings of their CMD Mrs. V R Iyer.
Miss. Karunambiga, Dy. General Secretary of National Union of Bank Employees, Malaysia greeted the Session with her educative speech and shared her experiences in Malaysia and the problems faced by them. Her address was well-received by the participants.
Com. S S Shisodia, President of AIBOA greeted the Convention and assured that AIBOA will work shoulder to shoulder with AIBEA in all our activities and programmes.
Com. Nandu Chavan and Com. Vishwas Utagi, President and General Secretary of the host unit MSBEF welcomed the participants and greeted the Session by cautioning them about the dangers ahead due the Central Government’s policies and the need to repulse all these attacks by grim struggles. They exhorted the participants to strengthen AIBEA by inspiring the women employees to be more active in our organisation.
Address by Mrs. Sucheta Dalal: Mrs. Sucheta Dalal, noted journalist and social activist addressed a Special Seminar during the Convention on the role of women employees in our society and explained how the consumers in the banks are being deprived of their basic rights and privileges by the bank managements. She applauded the participants for their enthusiastic participation and wished the Convention all success.
Delegates Session : The Convention began with hoisting of our AIBEA flag by our President Com Rajen Nagar. After the introductory speeches by the President and General Secretary of AIBEA, Com Lalita Joshi, Joint Secretary of AIBEA and Convener of AIBEA’s All India Women’s Council presented the Report on the activities of the Women’s Council since the last Convention.
Convener’s Report : During the presentation of her Report, Com. Lalita Joshi explained about the various important issues and aspects like the negative impact of globalisation and neo-liberal economic policies on society in general and women in particular, condition of working women and their problems, the neglect of the Government towards achieving the UN millennium development goals, and apathy towards empowerment of women, education of women, alarming increase in violence against women and failure of the Government to take effective measures, need to protect women against sexual harassments, etc.
She also explained about the various challenges before the banking industry like privatisation, mergers, dilution of social baking and the need to continue our struggles thereagainst. She further explained about the demands placed by AIBEA in the wage revision charter and the issues relating to women employees. She spoke about the steps taken by AIBEA to empower and enlist women employees in the various tiers of the organisation and the need for utilising these opportunities.
She reported about the activities undertaken by the Women’s Council at various State and bank-level and stressed the importance of further expanded activities by the Women’s Council at all levels. She spoke about the barriers faced by women employees in undertaking active role in the trade unions and the need to overcome these problems. Talking of the tasks ahead, she urged upon the participants to become consciously aware of offensives against women and come out stoutly against the same by involving more and more in trade union activities.
Concluding her presentation, she said that AIBEA stands for a better and safer society for women and children and for achieving the same, men and women should stand together and fight together and hence the theme of the Convention – Together we can and together we should.
She exhorted the participants to take the pledge
•To strive for a better society.
•To play our role for achieving dignity and safety of women.
•To extend solidarity and support to the unorganised women with constructive programs.
•To ensure job security in the banking industry.
•To resist anti- people banking reforms.
Her report was received with a lot of appreciation and applause.
Discussion on Report : The Delegates took up the Report for discussion in four session from 19th noon to 21st forenoon. All these Sessions were exclusively presided over by senior leaders of our Women Council from various States. Large number of delegates from all the States took part in the debate on the Report. While welcoming the Report and supporting the presentation, the delegates highlighted and reiterated many of the aspects covered by the Report and shared their valuable experiences and made valid suggestions. Speeches made by some of the very young employees were highly impressive and were appreciated by one and all.
Address by Com Rajen Nagar, President, AIBEA: He spoke in detail about the challenges facing us , particularly in the banking industry on our jobs, job security, attempts of outsourcing our regular jobs, attempts to push through the banking reforms agenda, increasing bad loans, dangers of consolidation and mergers, etc.
Address by Com. C H Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA: He spoke in details about the charter of demands placed by AIBEA and UFBU for our wage revision and improvements in our service conditions. He explained the developments so far and the hurdles being faced by us. He outlined the decisions taken by AIBEA to achieve a reasonable wage increase without weakening any of our existing rights and privileges.
The Convention adopted Mumbai Declaration highlighting the problems faced atpresent and the resolve to fight back these offensives on the following important aspects:
- To work towards international solidarity of workers in general and women in particular to ensure a better quality of life.
- To stand up & fight against increasing attacks on common people & working women, due to the liberalization- globalization policies.
- To stand up and fight against increasing atrocities on women to fight for a better society.
- To stand up and fight against exploitation of working woman, particularly in the unorganized sector.
- To implement all the programs of AIBEA to fight for better wage revision and to ensure job & Job security & to remain active in all programs of our union.
- To request AIBEA to instruct every State Federation, bank wise units who have not formed Women’s Council to do so in six months.
- To appeal to AIBEA to instruct every State Federation, bank wise units to have a women Office Bearer in their unit, and be a part of decision making body.
- To appeal to AIBEA to take care of issues pertaining to women employees along with decent wages, in the ensuing wage negotiation.
- To fight for proper Internal Complaints Committee and a standardised policy for sexual harassment in all Banks
- To request AIBEA to request bank wise leaders to take care of needs of women employees while framing their transfer policy.
- To observe 8th March 2015 highlighting the theme of this convention.
- To fight against terrorism ,against violence on women, for social justice & a better society.
- To demand 8th March to be declared a public holiday
THREE CHEERS TO HOST MSBEF: Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation and their Women’s Wing had made all arrangements for hosting the Convention successfully. All the participants had special appreciation for the leaders and volunteers who did an excellent job to make the Convention a memorable one. Special mention should be made about the presence and guidance of Com Asha Mokahi ( first Convener of AIBEA’s Women’s Council in 1995 ) as Chairperson of the Reception Committee.