The All-India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF), UNI’s largest affiliate in India with a membership of 160,000, recently marked its platinum jubilee celebration in the historic city of Kolkata on 26 November 2022.
The celebration started with a vibrant parade comprising nearly five thousand AISBISF members from different parts of India. They marched and danced on the street leading up to the indoor stadium hosting the event, culminating with a flag-hoisting ceremony led by AISBISF General Secretary Sanjeev Bandlish and President Arun Bhagoliwal. UNI Global Union General Secretary Christy Hoffman and UNI Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya joined in the festivities.
In her remarks, General Secretary Hoffman congratulated the AISBISF for its more than seven decades of service to its members and the community. She commended the union’s work in keeping productive industrial relations with the management of the State Bank of India (SBI) and noted how this relationship had enabled collective agreements that have concretely improved the terms and conditions for members.
While cautioning that the banking industry is facing new, competitive pressures with the emergence of e-banking and digital banking, which threatens the large numbers employed in the industry, she also promised UNI’s support to AISBISF in their campaign to preserve the state-owned public sector banks. Ms Hoffman further encouraged the union to take a strong role next year when the G20 meetings come to India. She said, “A strong union like the AISBISF should take a leading role in voicing the concerns of the labour movement, and we ask you to join us when UNI Global Union and the ITUC convene the L20 meetings next year during the G20.”
Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya complimented the AISBISF’s achievements and encouraged the union to share its experience of working in partnership with the management to serve millions of customers and contribute to the growth and development of India. He said, “The AISBISF is a treasured affiliate of UNI. We highly appreciate the support you have given UNI as we help form trade unions in the emerging sectors of India’s economy. Together, we can make work less precarious in this country.”