More than 200 First Capital Bank (FCB) workers who are up for retrenching have refused to give in easily and are fighting their employer by demanding hefty packages while revealing shoddy retrenchment policies which include nepotism.
Through the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Workers Union (ZIBAWU), the disgruntled workers accuse the FCB of not giving them enough retrenchment notice while allegedly replacing permanent workers with relatives of the bank’s top bosses.
On top of that, the workers are demanding hefty retrenchment packages which the bank is refusing to offer.
In a document dated 19 August 2019, ZIBAWU presented a position paper to the bank where it cited a number of irregularities in the retrenchment process while making demands for retrenchment package.
“It is submitted that in terms of the Labour Act, an employer is enjoined to keep employees informed at the earliest possible date of any changes that may result in the retrenchment of employees. An employer is further obliged to consult his employees on such developments. Accordingly, section 12D(1) of the Labour Act provides the following;
“Every employer shall ensure that, at the earliest possible opportunity, his employees are kept informed of and consulted in regard to any major changes in production, programmes, organisation or technology that are likely to entail the retrenchment of any employees,” reads the letter.
ZIBAWU further stated that the employer literally sprung the retrenchment decision on the employees without having kept the latter abreast on the developments that led to this scenario.
“The manner in which the employer conducted itself in failing to comply with section 12D(1) of the Act, not only sent a shock wave to the affected employees but evinced a veiled intention by the employer to avoid any further demands for salary increases by nipping the intended collective job action in the bud.
The workers accused the top leadership of employing their relatives in place of those who have been booted out.
“Some contract workers are related to top management giving credence to the belief that management is retrenching permanent employees in order to protect relatives,” said ZIBAWU.
They further demanded that they should be given their retrenchment packages in USD but the bank says it will only give them their benefits in Zimbabwean Dollar.
Among the demands by the disgruntled workers include a service pay of two months for every year served. Relocation allowance for two months, severance pay for one and a half months.
The workers also want medical aid paid for the next 18 months, they demanded that their funeral policies should be paid for 18 months, one-year school fees for every child.
They also want their personal loans to be written off while their mortgages are written off by 75% and to be served by notice in accordance with the Labour Act.
However, the bank wrote back on the same day saying it would only give the benefit in local currency.
Contacted for comment, FCB Head of Corporate Affairs and Customer Service Emily Nemapare said they were not at liberty to share details on an ongoing matter.
‘First Capital Bank does not comment on speculation. We can, however, confirm that the bank is undertaking a restructuring exercise and negotiations are currently underway with impacted staff members and representative bodies. As this is an ongoing process yet to reach its conclusion, we are not at liberty to share any details concerning this matter.
“We can reaffirm that First Capital Bank will continue to be guided by laws and legislation that govern such exercises,” she said.