Comrade Shantha Raju, Doyen Of Officers’ Trade Union Movement Is No More

Comrade Shantha Raju, former General Secretary, AIBOC and AISBOF, the doyen of supervisory cadre trade union movement is no more.

Having joined as a clerk in State Bank of India on 01.07.1970, Com. Shantha Raju entered the officers’ fraternity in State Bank of India as a Trainee Officer in September 1977. He was a Commerce and law graduate and a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers. He had decided to dedicate himself to espouse the cause of officers at an early age and sacrificed his career. A close aide of Com R N Godbole, the legendary leader of bank officers’ trade union movement, Com Shantha Raju, progressed through the ranks through his mettle, perseverance and dedication to lead the bank officers’ movement. His trade union career was illustrious. He was the President of Dakshina Kannada Unit of AICOBOO, Secretary of All India State Bank Officers’ Federation (AISBOF), President of State Bank of India Officers’ Association (Karnataka), General Secretary of AISBOF and AIBOC. He was an Officer-Director on the Central Board of SBI for two successive terms and was instrumental in clinching many benefits for the community. He was a Special Invitee to the 2nd UNI Finance Global Union World Conference at Geneva from 23rd to 25th May 2006. He had strongly advocated unity amongst the entire banking fraternity and worked for the consolidation of UFBU. He became the UFBU Convenor during 2002-2006 and was instrumental clinching numerous benefits in the historical 5th Joint Note, which was signed on 2.6.2005 viz. removal of anomaly in D.A. and neutralization of D.A. @ 100% for officers, introduction of encashment of LFC facility et al and he had laid the foundation stone of achieving one more option for pension. It was a result of his foresight, persuasion and
negotiating skill, that IBA principally agreed and assured to continue negotiations on Second Option for pension during the negotiation process of 2005. Finally, the Second Option for Pension in the industry could be clinched only during the 6th Joint Note (IXth BPS) inked on 27th April, 2010 i.e. nearly after four years from the date of laying down his office.

He also made efforts to bring in trade unions of the financial sector on a common platform. The grit and determination of Com Shantha Raju was displayed when he spearheaded the joint indefinite strike in SBI in April, 2006 on pension issues which ultimately achieved success.

His contribution to Confederation and supervisory cadre trade union movement is colossal. He played a leading role in formation of the NATURE (National Academy of Trade Union Research and Education), which is engaged in training the members and activists of various affiliates of AIBOC through Cadre Development Programmes, Leadership Development Progarmmes and imparting
skills in handling disciplinary matters was exemplary. He has handled the sessions in almost every programme on disciplinary matters since its commencement, even after retirement. He was the Editor of ‘“Common Bond’, the official publication of AIBOC; ‘Officers’ Cause’, ‘Domestic Enquiry’, `Social Concern’ and ‘Labour Research’, official publications of AISBOF. Though he
retired from Bank’s Service on 31.8.2006, he continued to serve the officers’ fraternity in many ways. He was also the President of SBI Pensioners’ Association (Karnataka) and had visited the Association office as well as AISBOF office at Bangalore the week before he passed away.

Com Shantha Raju was humility personified, which is the hallmark of a great leader. His unflappable demeanour and his ability to remain composed during testing situations was appreciated by one and all. His demise will leave a permanent void. He will continue to dwell in the hearts of our fraternity. benefit that he was instrumental in achieving for the officers’ fraternity.. His contribution would be forever etched in golden letters in the annals of the glorious history of our Confederation. He would be alive in all the struggles of our Trade Union movement.

The All India Bank Officers Confederation has condoled the demise of Comrade Shantha Raju. also extends deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

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