There were days in our Banks, when the work force was blatantly exploited, majority of the 'employees' were paid by the loanees instead of the Bank, The Officers/Managers behaved like School Head Masters, the clerks were treated as bonded labour arriving at the Bank just after sun rise and reached homes around midnight!
Then came the Trade Unions in the Banks, which formed the mighty "All India Bank Employees Association".
After prolonged struggles, Desai Award set forth clear working conditions and appropriate salaries to the employees and the workers were jubiliant.
Later came Sastry award, which improved the working conditions admirably. The Banks working was streamlined.
Later a permanent mechanism to deal with periodical wage revisions and improvement in working conditions came into being in the shape of "Bi-partite Negotiations". By this time, the Scheduled Banks in India have also formed an association viz. "Indian Banks' Association" and bi-partite negotions were held between the representatives of the IBA and AIBEA.
The Awards & bi-partite settlements covered the "Award Staff" of the Banks, comprising of Clerical & Subordinate Staff, who were in large majority than the other cadre i.e. "Officers" comprising of Supervisory staff and Executives.
The wage increases, with dearness alloance based on the "Consumer Price Index"; merger of DA with Basic periodically, were reasonable. The increases for supervisory & other Staff were also commensurate with those of Award Staff.
So, those of the people who tried to 'corrupt' the Staff were immediately shown the exit door!
The AIBEA leadership was in the hands of Communist party/ies mainly CPI. There were eminent leaders in the Trade Unions of individual Banks as well as AIBEA like Comrade Parvana and Prabhat Kar. They sacrificed their careers as well as lives for the cause of the work force!
Gradually, with the advent of Indira Gandhi, and nationalisation of Banks Government interference had grown manifold effecting the IBA also. All matters had to be referred to the Government.
........to be continued.