The AISBISF may have gained but to what extent is something that cannot be exactly quantified, countered the top leader of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).
“Around 28,000 members of AIBEA in the erstwhile associate banks have joined our union post-merger. Prior to the merger membership strength in SBI was around 170,000 and now we expect the membership number to touch 200,000,” Sanjeev Kumar Bandlish, General Secretary of AISBISF, told IANS over phone from Chandigarh.
Bandlish is also the General Secretary of National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE).
The five associate banks that merged with SBI are: SBBJ (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur), SBM (State Bank of Mysore), SBT (State Bank of Travancore), SBP (State Bank of Patiala) and SBH (State Bank of Hyderabad).
According to Bandlish, nearly 40,000 award staff (class III and IV) came to SBI from the associate banks.
The AIBEA had a lion’s share of membership in the associate banks. It also had its nominees on the bank’s board.
However, AISBISF was the majority union in SBI.
“Of the 40,000 staff who came to SBI post-merger, around 28,000 have joined our union,” Bandlish said.
It is nothing new for the union to add members in large numbers nor does it pose any challenge, he said.
“SBI recruits in large numbers and the new recruits join our union. As to the members of AIBEA who joined our union, they are educated and took their own decision. There will not be any clash of any ideology.”
On the other hand, AIBEA’s General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam termed Bandlish’s claims as exaggerated.
“It is true that some AIBEA members in erstwhile associate banks have joined AISBISF after the merger with SBI. But the numbers are not alarming. Unless the checkoff system is…