More than 700 delegates from branches all over India gathered on Sunday for the first women bank employee convention at the State Bank of Patiala head office here.
The All-India State Bank of Patiala Employee Federation had organised the convention and Lalita Joshi, joint secretary of the All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and convener of the All-India Women Bank Employee Council, inaugurated the event.
Amarjit Kaur, secretary of the All-India Trade Union Council (AITUC), was chief guest. "The work environment and job profiles in banking industry are fast changing," said Lalita Joshi. "Women now are integral part of the human resource of banks but their induction in leadership roles is to be ensured."
Women employees had played a big role in the success of the two-day countrywide banking strike in August 2012, said Amarjit Kaur. "On February 20 and 21 this year, they stood up again, to protect the nationalised banking sector from outsourcing and contract system," she added. Women were the worst victims of neo-liberal economic policies in various countries, as the changes had incresed the cost of living and reduced the benefits and welfare measures of the workforce, Amarjit Kaur said.
The convention's objective is to raise issues such as service conditions, recruitment, women's empowerment and forums to protect women. The delegates are from states where the State Bank of Patiala has significant presence. A 15-member women's council was also elected. The deligates resolved to fight crime against women and increase women's participation at all levels in the organisation.