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Women in Trade Unions: Meet Anjali Bedekar

Source | LinkedIn : By Vivek Patwardhan

Much correspondence preceded my first meeting with Ms Anjali Bedekar. Finally I met her at Hyderabad where a federation of IT industry unions was launched, with the blessings of the Labour Minister. Since then I have met her many times and my respect for her moves up several notches in every meeting.

Anjali joined State Bank of India in 1977. While she was a member of the State Bank Union, she was not an active member. But her leadership qualities and courage to take up a case where injustice was done to an employee was soon noticed. In 1995 she was invited to join the Branch Level Committee as an office bearer. There was no looking back thereafter. She moved to the Core Committee and then rose to be the first woman President of the union for Mumbai Circle – that included State of Maharashtra and Goa. She also held the position of Asst. General Secretary. That meant that she was empowered to negotiate directly with the management.

Later Anjali also became President of UNI Apro Women’s Committee, she is an officer of UNI Global Union. It is based in Nyon, Switzerland, represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions in the fastest growing sectors in the world – skills and services. She travels around the globe as a result, addressing seminars and influencing people.

To widen perspective and prepare for her mission Anjali, then in her forties, enrolled for Master’s at TISS to specialise in Globalisation and Labour.

In spite of such illustrious career, Anjali remains a simple person with no airs, easy to smile and laugh, very candid and frank in her conversations. She is well read, articulate, and fervently takes up women’s cause.

In the first video Anjali Bedekar speaks about Women’s Representation in Trade Unions. In the second video she speaks about Women in Trade unions – a related subject.

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