People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 52

December 25, 2011


IBEF Holds Conference in Chennai


S V Venugopalan 

WITH the onset of neo-liberal policies, it was claimed that there would be free market, free trade, free import, free export, and so on, and that therefore everybody would prosper. But what we see today is the growing misery of people everywhere, and income inequalities have grown to such an extent that there is a popular upsurge everywhere against the globalisation policies. This goes on in nation after nation; virtually no country is an exception to the people’s struggles today. So said A K Padmanabhan, president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) while inaugurating the tenth all-India conference and the silver jubilee celebrations of the Indian Bank Employees Federation (IBEF), at Chennai on December 18.


It is to be noted that the IBEF is an affiliate of the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).


On this occasion, Padmanabhan recalled what once our great poet Subramaniya Bharathi famously wrote ---- that the thought process was the same across the globe in unanimously condemning the anti-workers policies. He also narrated how India, despite being a founder member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), has been refusing to honour the established conventions of the ILO. He referred to the call given by the central trade union organisations and federations for a nationwide strike on February 28, 2012, while making an appeal that the new year must be made a year of struggle against injustice, a year of successful struggles of the working class. He congratulated the IBEF for its remarkable contributions for the turn-around of Indian banks and its remarkable contributions on social, political and cultural fronts as well.


On its part, the IBEF conference too, by a resolution, endorsed the said call given by the central trade unions for the nationwide strike and issued an appeal to the bank employees and officers to make it a resounding success. The federation demanded immediate filling up of over 2,000 vacancies in clerical cadre and 1,000 in subordinate cadre in the Indian Bank and demanded recruitments to lakhs of vacancies in the industry as a whole. Resolutions on price rise, outsourcing, PFRDA bill and for an amicable settlement to the Mullaiperiyar dam issue were also adopted, besides the one expressing opposition to the so-called banking reforms.


The two-day conference was presided over by K Krishnan, president of the IBEF. Those who spoke at the open session included BEFI state president T Tamilarasu,  its national president A K Ramesh Babu, and K Chandrasekaran, president of the All India Indian Bank Officers Association (AIIBOA). K Swaminathan general secretary of the South Zone Insurance Employees Federation (an AIIEA affiliate), was the chairman of the reception committee and welcomed the gathering at the start of the session. IBEF general secretary Tapan Das proposed the vote of thanks. 


Immediately following the open session, a special session for women employees was held and it was addressed by Prof Chandra, vice president of the All India Kisan Sabha. And the delegates session was inaugurated by Pradip Biswas, general secretary, BEFI. Over 400 delegates including a sizeable number of women from different states attended the conference.


On the concluding day, the conference elected K Krishnan as president, J C Jena as general secretary and R P Royguru as the treasurer.