NUBE MEDIA STATEMENT
NUBE APPRECIATES THE PRIME MINISTER'S CONCERN, BUT DISAPPOINTED WITH THE MINISTRY OF HUMAN RESOURCES' 'COLD ATTITUDE' IN ALLOWING BANK WORKERS TO BE HARASSED BY CORPORATES
1. The National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) expressed its appreciation for the concern shown by the YAB Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin by taking immediate action in respond to the NUBE letter, sent in December 2020, related to issues affecting bank employees from B40 and M40 Group.
2. However, the Ministry of Human Resources seems to have taken the opposite stance, including not looking at the issue raised even though the YAB Prime Minister, through his letter, has advised for the attention and action of the YB Minister of Human Resources on the matters raised by NUBE. Prior to this NUBE had also raised the same issue in a letter sent to the YB Minister of Human Resources in November 2020.
3. All the concerns that have been raised by NUBE over the years, including in the letters sent to the YAB Prime Minister and YB Minister of Human Resources, are taking place now.
4. The most obvious case is the implementation of VSS and MSS by HSBC Bank Malaysia, which is the third in six years. The scheme was announced to the Bank's employees on 3 June 2021, when the rakyat and the country were faced with the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MOC) 3.0.
5. NUBE from the outset has been tracking the tactics used by HSBC Bank Malaysia to lay off employees, especially those from the B40 and M40 Groups on the grounds of restructuring operations and introducing outsourcing of certain services. This time seven conventional branches in Peninsular Malaysia will be closed.
6. Although NUBE has written a letter and brought the same matter to the attention of the Ministry of Human Resources and its departments several times since last year, but there is no remedial action from the Ministry to prevent acts of harassment especially with the implementation of VSS and MSS, as well implementation of outsourcing strategies, which eliminate employment opportunities of permanent job for local citizens. Permanent workers function given out to informal workers and overseas.
7. Authorities such as the Ministry of Human Resources should act to safeguard the interests and welfare of workers, instead of approving requests and applications from employers, investors, and capitalists arbitrarily under the expense of workers livelihood.
8. VSS and MSS implementation by HSBC Bank Malaysia this time, which was announced to the workers of the Bank on 3 June 2021, has also obtained approval from the Department of Labour, Ministry of Human Resources.
9. As an agency responsible and concerned for the welfare of workers, the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Human Resources should inform NUBE and seek the views of NUBE, and not make unilateral decisions on behalf of NUBE and give approval for retrenchment exercise.
10. Is this a way to safeguard the interests of workers and create a harmonious environment in terms of industrial relations?
11. For the record, NUBE has objected to such actions during two previous implementations by HSBC. The same step was taken this time, and the announcement was made when the whole country is in a total lockdown since 1 June 2021.
12. On the third day of the total lockdown, HSBC management briefed the workers about the implementation of VSS and MSS although NUBE, in three discussions held on 25 May, 28 May and 2 June 2021, had asked HSBC to postpone the announcement of the implementation of VSS and MSS temporarily as engagement has just begun and further discussions needed between the Union and HSBC management. However, HSBC management was adamant and hurried to proceed with their announcements.
13. Looking at the attitude of the Ministry of Human Resources, it only confirms that the Ministry is more than happy to license the corporate sector employers to harass and victimise workers. They even condoned and granted the green light for B40 and M40 workers to be slaughtered by corporate sector.
14. The Ministry of Human Resources should help rescue every worker who is faced with the situation as witnessed in the case of HSBC Bank Malaysia. The Ministry of Human Resources should act decisively so that no employer is willing to do the same to workers in this country. The Ministry of Human Resources should not give approval to HSBC Bank Malaysia to retrench workers unilaterally, instead it should direct them to provide retraining and skills upgrading the workers while the Bank continues to make a profit.
15. Actions taken by HSBC Bank Malaysia is contrary to the Employment Act 1955, the Industrial Relations Act 1967, Collective Agreement between NUBE MCBA and NUBE and HSBC, Code of Conduct on Industrial Harmony, Human Rights, International Labour Standards, and also the advice of the YAB Prime Minister and Yang di-Pertuan Agong to avoid retrenching workers during a pandemic.
16. NUBE hopes that the Government will continue to show a proactive stance in safeguarding the interests and welfare of workers in the country. We welcome foreign investments, but the government should not allow foreign investors to turn Malaysia into a slaughter house for local workers for their corporate greed. The Government's firmness is crucial as we are facing the impact of the COVID-19 and the implementation of PKP 3.0.
17. Once again, we seek the constructive action from the YAB Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin in this matter so that all Ministers in the Malaysian Cabinet do not neglect their fiduciary duties for the interests of the Rakyat. Especially, in the context of what NUBE is currently going through where Minister of Human Resources is licensing HSBC to prioritize their self-interest to exploit B40 and M40 workers.
NATIONAL UNION OF BANK EMPLOYEES
11 JUN 2021