Skip to main content

Following dictates of 'politicised' TUs? Going on strike, bank staff victims of herd mindset

By NS Venkataraman* 

Bank unions announced strike on March 15-16 to protest against some policy issues. Their demands relate to the government decision to merge and privatize banks. It is not the first time that strikes have been organized on these issues.
The bank strikes have become repeated incidents and a matter of routine, that the view has gone strong among middle classes that the bank employees would only conduct themselves in such manner, mixing work with strike as and when they desire.
Some even sarcastically say that when bank employees become tired of working, they go on strike for a change. The government and bank managements too seem to have reconciled themselves to a such pattern of the bank employees.
Strikes by bank employees appear to have become a necessary culture of operations in the banks. However, no one even seems to calculate the loss happening to the country’s exchequer and sufferings of the clients and industries due to such strike. Possibly, people are counting the holidays along with the strike days.
It is widely recognized that bank employees are a relatively more affluent section of society, especially compared to the middle income and lower income groups. By applying pressure on the government and management and not hesitating to use coercive techniques, bank employees have been able to rise their salaries, perks and other benefits from time to time.
What is particularly shocking is that the trade unions which say that they stand for the cause of the deprived section of society and to prevent exploitation of working class, are instrumental in launching such strikes.
Karl Marx, the original innovator of the trade union concept, would be turning in his grave to see such trade union trends these days, where trade unions have totally become politicized, with preconceived and prejudiced views.
The demands raised by bank employees are related to policy decisions of the government such as merger of banks, privatization of banks etc. These are essentially administrative issues introduced by the government. The view has gone strong that these moves have no bearing on the work conditions in the banks and that politicized trade unions are using bank employees to settle their political scores.
At least section of bank employees at various level appear to be unhappy about the frequent strike calls and disruptive tactics of the unions but they are so scared due to the vice like grip of the political leadership of the trade unions and, therefore, remain silent.
With what looks like a herd mentality, bank employees simply follow the dictates of the union leaders and in such situation, inevitably the strike called by bank unions becomes complete and total.
Today, the real conflict in this country is between the organized and the unorganized class. The organized class like bank employees enjoying guaranteed employment and comfortable pay packet seem to be taking the consumers for granted.
There is also the view that such strikes and disruptive tactics of the organized class are causing economic loss to the country and putting the general public to sufferings, which inevitably result in affecting the national income and the ability of the country to ensure better conditions for unorganized class.
One wonders if the grievance and protest of the unorganized class ever would be brought to light.
---
*Trustee, Nandini Voice for The Deprived, Chennai

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.