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History of

OUR UNION

In the backdrop of latent spirit of discontent and dissatisfaction and the newly awakened sense of nationalism and patriotism, a few Indian employees of Imperial Bank of India at Calcutta were spurred to form an Association under the name and style "Imperial Bank of India Indian Staff Association" on 1st February 1920 even before the enactment of Indian Trade Union Act, 1926.

Bombay Circle of the Bank saw the emergence of the 3 unions several years later-one at Bombay, another at Poona and the third at Ahmedabad. These 3 Unions were amalgamated later into one Organisation under the name and style "State Bank of India Employees Union, Bombay Circle" in 1951. In Madras Circle, with branches spread over Tamilnadu, Andhrapradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Union Territory of Pondicherry, no Union could be formed till the middle of 1946.

Though the conventional history of the Trade Union Movement in India commonly derives its birth and breathe from the Madras Labour Union formed in April 1918 by B.P. Wadia, the bank employees in Southern part of the Country took a long time to organize themselves and form trade unions in their respective establishments.

The glaring discrimination, inferior service conditions and unfair treatment meted out to the then Imperial Bank employees provoked the thoughts of the employees in Madras Circle to organize themselves into a Trade Union.

A few senior employees of the then Imperial Bank of India led by Shri P.S. Chengalvaroyan and Shri V. Ramanujam, with courage and conviction, rightly and judiciously met at the lawns of the High Court of Madras in mid 1946 to explore the possibilities of forming a trade union of Imperial Bank of India employees in this part of the Country.

At the founding Conference held at St. Mary's Hall, Madras under the Presidentship of Shri Bashyam Iyengar, the then Minister for Law of the Interim Government before Independence, the saviour child of SBI men was born and christened as "Imperial Bank of India Indian Staff Association". The name of the Union was subsequently changed into "Imperial Bank of India Indian Staff Union" which was registered on 25th September 1948 under the Trade Union Act, 1926.

The decision of the Imperial Bank of India Indian Staff Association (Madras Circle) to convene a conference at Madras had given a unique opportunity to all other Circle Associations to assemble for forging a very strong tie amongst all Circles and consult each other in all common interests. Such direct contact besides creating a strong bondage further helped in understanding each other's difficulties and devising ways and means for achieving the common goal.
It was felt by all the unions that a strong Federation had become absolutely necessary to safeguard the rights of the employees of the Imperial Bank of India. After threadbare discussions, Shri T.S. Ramanujam, the then President of Imperial Bank of India Indian Staff Association, moved the resolution for adoption of the constitution of the Federation and the same was adopted with thundering cheers from all sections. It was decided that during the first year of the existence, the Federation shall operate from Calcutta. The cradle for the Federation was thus moved from Madras to Calcutta to enable the saviour child to receive the care and attention of the expert nurses in the field. Consequent on the transformation of Imperial Bank of India into State Bank of India in July 1955 by a special enactment, the name of the Federation was changed as "All India State Bank of India Staff Federation" by an amendment adopted at the 5th conference of the Federation held at Calcutta on 12th and 13th March 1956.
The brave and far-sighted moves of the founding fathers to build a strong and close knit organization at Circle/All India level to safeguard the interests of employees was sought to be destroyed by the political forces that entered the power structure of the Organisation around 1955. At the Circle Union's conference held at Coimbatore in 1959, as a first step to arrest the political influence over the functioning of the Circle union under the leadership of Shri V.G.Row, Bar-at-law, an Advocate owing allegiance to Communist Party of India, Shri K.Sitaram (former Joint Secretary of the Union) contested the elections with a team of workers that included Shri T.V.Loganathan (former President of the Union) and Shri C.L.Rajaratnam (former President who subsequently formed a rival Union after his defeat in 1981 Trivandrum Conference; the membership of the same rejoined the parent Organisation viz. SBSU (MC) within a short period.). While Sarvashri T.V.Loganathan and C.L.Rajaratnam were elected to the posts of Assistant Secretary and Vice-President respectively, Shri K.Sitaram withdrew from the contest on the floor of the Council.
When the evil designs of the outside leadership of the union came to surface during and after the heroic strike in 1960, Shri T.V.Loganathan mobilized the rank and file for ousting the outside leadership, who were aiming to shatter the solidarity of the Federation which was built brick by brick, by sweat and blood and by toil and moil of innumerable employees of the bank all over the Country. Such a movement gained momentum and the entire rank and file rose in revolt against the then leadership at the General Council meeting held at Tiruchirapalli on 14th and 15th October 1961. Under the guidance of Shri M.V.Alexander (former Senior Vice President) a team of dedicated workers – Viz. Sarvashri R.N.Godbole, S.P.Thyagarajan, P.V.H.Babu, N.Balasubramanian (Trichy), P.N.Krishnamurthy, V.Ganesan, S.P.Raman, C.Damodaran and few others mobilized the members of the General Council for support to oust the political leadership. By the democratic process the then leadership was thrown out of power lock, stock and barrel. Shri C.L.Rajaratnam was elected as the first employee President of the Circle Union and subsequently Staff Federation. The swift measures initiated by the new Central Committee after eschewing the political forces from the Union in 1961 under the stewardship of Sarvashri T.V.Loganathan, V.Ganesan and C.L.Rajaratnam to tone up the administration of the Union, right from collection of subscriptions to strengthening the units at various branches in the Circle (then comprising of the entire Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, part of Andhra State and Union Territory of Pondicherry Branches), resulted in the building up of a close knit and a strong Circle Union viz. State Banks' Staff Union (MC). Born as a small organization in 1947 covering hardly about 1000 employees, the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation has today grown into a powerful edifice branching out to more than 8000 Centres all over the Country and commanding a membership of over 1.30 lakhs.
SBSU Union

LEADERSHIP

President
Smt / Shri
General Secretary
Smt / Shri
Year
C L Rajaratnam T.V.Loganathan & B.K.Medappa
(Joint Secretaries)
1961-1962
C L Rajaratnam V Ganesan & T V Loganathan
(Joint Secretaries)
1963
C L Rajaratnam V Ganesan 1964-1967
C L Rajaratnam D.G.Masilamani 1968-1971
C L Rajaratnam V.Ganesan 1972-1980
T V Loganathan V Ganesan 1981-1987
T V Loganathan D Venugopal Reddy 1988-1993
D G Masilamani D Venugopal Reddy 1994-1997
H Ganapathy D Venugopal Reddy 1998-2003
R Balasubrahmanyam V R Udaya Shankar 2004-2007
P V Inbasekaran C M Baskaran 2007-2010
D Singaravelu C M Baskaran 2010-2015
S.M.Selvaraj D Singaravelu 2015-2017
S.Gunasekar S.M.Selvaraj 2017-2019
R.Baskaran G.Kripakaran Present
Our Union

EMBLEM

At the time of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of State Banks' Staff Union (Madras Circle) and the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation during May 1974, the leadership of both the Organisations thought it necessary to have a suitable Emblem for the Organisation.

Shri V.Ganesan, the then General Secretary of our Circle Union drew a sketch putting his thoughts which might aptly suit the characteristics of the Federation/Union. When the design of the Emblem was sent to the Federation Headquarters at Calcutta both the President and the Secretary approved the same and conveyed their appreciation for the best manner in which the emblem has been designed.

SBSU appearing in the top quarter of the emblem is the abbreviation for State Banks' Staff Union. The key hole at the Centre represents the gateway to prosperity and a better and brighter future.

The writing position of the pen is symbolic of the ceaseless service being rendered to the Society by the Bank employees. The pen also represents knowledge, wisdom and of course might. Pen, it is said, is mightier than the sword. The balance with the pair of scales even, stands for justice and equality besides indicating the balanced mind and thinking of the Organisation. The legend "Right is Might" is the motto of this mighty Union/Federation. The words "Right" and "Duty" appearing in the scales on the left and right respectively signify the conviction of the Union/Federation that Rights and Duties go together and that over-emphasis on either side will tilt the balance.

Our parent Organisations, AISBISF and NCBE have also adopted the emblem. This emblem is widely known among the Bank employees as the symbol for independent trade unionism in the Banking Sector.