IBA in its affidavit has stressed on the point that the trade union representing 95% of bank employees signed the agreement and hence Canara Bank petition filed by a union representing only 244 members should be ignored is not acceptable to any one who believes in justice.
Suppose if majority union decides that female employees will be given three increments less than male employees though they male and female perform same duty in the bank. , Can such unconstitutional agreement be treated as valid only because the same has been signed by a union representing majority of members?
Are we living in a jungle of sheep?
Another point is that the disputed agreement was signed by leaders of majority union. If leaders become victim of management, if leaders become hostile to members due to self interest, if leader’s intention become malicious there is all possibility of betrayal such as anti-member decision, divisive wage agreement, discriminatory treatment to divide them, sacrificing the interest of members to serve self interest etc. There is country wide protest and several writs have been filed in various courts of the country against the disputed clause which shows that the said agreement signed by leaders of majority union is not liked by majority of members. When leaders found that member can now resign or revolt against the union, they thought it better to release the arrear in hurry and recover the contribution from PF optees so that intensity of revolt is diluted. Further pension optees who are getting better treatment and who are getting full arrear will not support PF optees. This is called “Divide and Rule” policy. Leaders further took support of management in making recovery of Levy directly from arrear or pay slip to avoid the risk of member not paying levy in anger. All these fact reveal that union leaders realize from the core of their heart that they members are not happy with them.
When late Indira Gandhi, exPrime Minister of India lost her temper, she lost her conscience, she put all her opponents in jail, imposed emergency and without any fear of legal consequences or political reaction she misused the majority of her party in the Parliament to change the basic structure of the constitution. Similarly IBA has divided the bank employees in two segments, one pension optee and another PF optee and there is no doubt that bank management will use this division for imposing illegal recovery on PF optees. To add fuel to fire, IBA has created division even among various union leaders. This is why powerful protest against illegal recovery is not visible and management is taking advantage of this division and submitting illogical plea in the court to defend the discriminatory clause of the Bipartite Settlement. Those employees who are raising voices against misrule of IBA and union leaders are facing threatening of transfer or rejection in promotion process or posting at critical place or transfer from east to west or from north to south. Obviously reign on injustice will continue unabated until courts impose some punitive action against erring officials and leaders.
One more point raised by IBA in their affidavit filed in Madras High Court is that the second option of pension is not mandatory and employee at his will to opt or not to opt for pension. Days are not far when bank will curtail salary of all employees by 50% and give option to employee to continue in service or leave the job. In the initial offer for pension bank did not put any condition and hence there is no logic to put condition of recovery in the present offer of pension.
Union leaders have got no right to damage career of any individual or cause financial loss to any single person, not to speak of 3 lacs employees PF optees. When PF optees have also contributed in pension fund along with pension optees in the past during 7th and 8th Bipartite Settlement, there is no question of making recovery this time only from PF optees only to bridge the gap of 1800 crores. It is worthwhile to mention here that bank management has saved interest to the tune of 1800 crores by merely delaying the settlement for 30 months. Further bank will earn interest on money recovered from PF optees (total of 1800 crores from PF optees) till the court finally stops such illegitimate deduction.
Further when these union leaders called for strike or agitational programme, the same was put in action by all the employees including PF optees and not by PF or pension optees alone. Never in the past, had these union leaders ever told that second option for PF optees will be purchased by paying three months salary to pension fund. Had it been so there was no need to wait for 15 to 17 years, it could have been easily offered by PBA in 1995 itself.
When union leaders and IBA both had unanimous view of 1.6 times recovery and they have expressed the same in their separate affidavits, what happened during last two three days that both parties changed their view and agreed for recovery from only PF optees. Such discriminatory agreement pass the test of existing laws and the provision of constitutionally granted fundamental right called as Equality before law.
Already bank management has been violating spirit of transfer policy and promotion policy just to please union leaders and to conceal the misdeeds of corrupt executives. Management even does not hesitate to compromise lending policy or ethics behind waiver or comprise settlement with willful defaulters.
80% of officers belonging to the state of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orrisa and a few other states are posted outside their parent state and transferred whimsically frequently whereas those of the state of Maharashtra, Tamilnadu and West Bengal are seldom transferred outside their state for three decades and more. In the name of exigencies of work officers are transferred from one corner to other in clear cut violation of transfer policy. Similarly in the name of interview in promotion processes, higher management in nexus with union leaders promote or reject officers as per their sweet will and thus perpetuating arbitrary rule and reign of injustice.
Now they have jointly committed fraud with PF optees, they have cheated PF optees, they have extended biased benefits to scale four officers at the cost of junior level officers, they have caused loss to senior officers by stagnating them and depriving them of annual increments and what not.......
Reason behind continuance of such atrocities is that banks in general give choice posting to union leaders, militant officers, out of turn promotion to inefficient and corrupt employees, avoid punitive action against even fraudulent and charge sheeted employees to created a team of truly loyal and flatterers .This time IBA has created a tem of pension optees who will blindly support misrule of Bank Management.
But how long such cruelty will be tolerated is a million dollar question?
How long top executives and CEOs forming IBA will kill their own conscience and commit unethical acts and work against all moral values.
I ask IBA team leaders and veteran trade union leaders to peep into their own mind and heart, try to affirm and reaffirm whether core of their heart permits such divisive and discriminatory agreement. If their heart and soul, their conscience do not allow discrimination, they should at least now rectify their error . It is never too late.