The National Union of Bank Employees has filed a formal complaint with the UK authorities over HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd’s alleged unfair treatment of its workers. – EPA pic, September 19, 2021.
THE UK National Contact Point (NCP) has agreed to accept the complaints of the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and UNI Global Union about HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd’s unfair treatment of bank workers.
NUBE secretary-general J. Solomon said the complaints pertained to the bank’s breach of labour laws, including Chapter V of the Guidelines (Employment and Industrial Relations).
He said the bank had failed to respect labour laws and the collective agreements it had signed with the unions.
“The UK NCP, in a statement on its decision issued on September 15, 2021, said it had decided to accept that some of the complaints from the NUBE and UNI Global Union about HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd are valid, and the complaint will go forward for further examination or mediation.”
“The NUBE with the support of UNI Global Union filed a formal complaint about HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings Plc, a British multinational investment bank and financial services company, to the UK NCP for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in December 2020,” said Solomon.
The UK NCP is under the Department for International Trade. It is responsible for promoting the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises on responsible business conduct and for operating the complaints mechanism set out in the guidelines.
Solomon said HSBC had breached six guidelines by deliberately delaying negotiations during collective bargaining, harassing and victimising NUBE members and union representatives for their participation in industrial action, denying union representatives entry to its workplaces for the purpose of meeting union members, failing to appropriately engage in dispute resolution proceedings with NUBE, undertaking an outsourcing process including “forced” VSS/MSS and failing to consult with NUBE ahead of this process, and denying NUBE members and employees access to their workstations and work.
“NUBE welcomes the decision which directly indicates that there is a strong basis for complaints made to the UK NCP.”
“NUBE and UNI Global Union will provide further cooperation to the UK NCP, thus we are optimistic that a positive and constructive decision will be made in the best interests of NUBE members and bank employees in Malaysia,” he added.
Solomon said his organisation was forced to bring the issue to the attention of the UK NCP after local authorities failed to help find solutions to issues raised in the past years.
“The Ministry of Human Resources, the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysia all failed to find a constructive solution over the past years.”
“We are grateful for the strong support given by UNI Global Union and the fair consideration given by the UK NCP in investigating our complaint,” he stated.
In July, NUBE lodged 93 police reports against HSBC Bank Malaysia chief executive officer Stuart Milne for his decision to retrench workers during the pandemic.
In response, HSBC said it was making changes to the bank that will involve the creation of more than 200 new roles to adapt to the evolving banking landscape. This would include redeploying people into new roles.
HSBC said it was offering a voluntary separation scheme to certain segments of its workforce should redeployment not be possible. – September 19, 2021.