ZIBAWU resists Stanchart’s oppressive workers transfer to FBC Bank

Business Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union’s (ZIBAWU) feud with Standard Chartered over the transfer of workers to FBC Bank has reached a crescendo on the back of the unilateral -colonialist nature in which the exiting banker intends to undertake the process.

The development follows FBC’s agreement with Stanchart to acquire the local business in Zimbabwe in June last year after the former was successful ahead of other possible suitors.

Stanchart reached a strategic decision to divest from a few markets, namely Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Jordan, and to exit the CPBB (Consumer Private and Business Banking) business in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

Under the agreement, FBCH is set to acquire 100% shareholding in Stanchart and by extension, the custodial services business that is wholly owned by Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe.

However, the fate of workers under the new deal has remained contentious with emerging details showing that Stanchart is moving towards some opaque arrangement.

One of the letters seen by The Humanitarian Post signed by the Stanchart CEO Mubaiwa Mubayiwa addressed to one of the bank’s employees outlines sketchy details on the employees transfer.

“Following the announcements of the sale of the Bank to FBC Holdings Limited on June 8 2023, we would like to advise you that subject to obtaining regulatory approval.We intend to complete the sale on or around 18th May 2024.In accordance with local law, your employment will automatically transfer to FBC Holdings Limited on the Completion Date.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude for all he hard work and commitment you have shown during your employment within the Standard Chartered Group.In recognition of your contribution and as a gesture of thanks.

“I am pleased to advise that you will receive a one time ex-gratia of ZiG…..(amount details withheld) subject to you signing the Employee acknowledgement below and returning a copy of this letter no later than May 10 2024,” the letter says in part.

Irked by the sad twist of events , ZIBAWU Secretary General,Peter Mutasa urgently petitioned Stanchart’s top management, CEO Africa- Kweku Bedu Addo, Group CEO Bill Winters, Stanchart Worker Committee Chairperson over the matter.

“We have seen the letters you have written to all our members without any discussions and in the most oppressive is our view that such colonial labour relations legacy no longer has room in a Constitutional democracy whose labour relations is founded upon social justice and democracy at the workplace.

“Our laws demands that you consult the Works Council on such matter before implementation to allow workers to share their input.We therefore demand that you withdraw your oppressive terms of transfer and immediately engage the Works Council as per the provisions of the Labour Act,” says the letter in part.

The ZIBAWU leader has since advised Stanchart’s workers not to sign the agreements until clear legal advice is proffered by the workers group.

“We are seeking legal advice and in the meantime advise all workers to avoid signing them until we get proper advice from lawyers,” he said.

Mutasa accused the bank of being dishonest by mixing up terms which have far reaching implications with the arbitrary ex-gracia payment in order to force workers to sign off all their rights including potential future rights at the new employer,FBC.

He said such conduct is against the Labour Act and we may approach the courts on your behalf on this matter.

Read Stanchart’s sign off conditions below;

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