LIVID over purported indifference by HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd (HSBC) over their grievances, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) announced it would be launching a nationwide picket against the financial institutions.
“Our first picket will commence on Thursday (March 10) in Johor Bahru, between 1.30pm and 2.30pm. It will take place at HSBC branch located at Jalan Bukit Timbalan,” its general secretary J Solomon said, in a statement.
The banking union has been at HSBC’s loggerheads for some time now ever since the latter allegedly launched retrenchment exercises under the guise of voluntary separation scheme (VSS) and mutual separation scheme (MSS) since 2017.
It was claimed that HSBC refused to negotiate on the fate of workers who do not want the VSS/MSS.
“HSBC is ignoring the code of conduct for industrial harmony and denying workers especially those in the B40 and M40 categories their fundamental right to livelihood when the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Abusing their powers by using customers’ money and the Government to conduct union busting seem to be their understanding of continuing to collaborate with all trade unions,” Solomon had stated on Feb 14.
Pushed to the corner
According to Solomon, HSBC’s blatant breach of international conventions and human rights has led NUBE to refer HSBC’s discrimination and persecution cases to courts in Malaysia as well as international bodies, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Touching on the latest move, Solomon said his union have no choice but to launch the picket, alleging HSBC has refused to negotiate with them at every stage to promote harmonious industrial relations as provided under the Collective Agreements (CA) and Industrial Relations Act 1967.
“HSBC has deliberately been avoiding consultations with NUBE to find a solution towards all the complaints that have been raised against the bank.
“This exploitative attitude by HSBC, involving 300 trade disputes during the pandemic, is aimed at continuously testing the patience of the B40 and M40 workers.
“Such an extreme attitude does not reflect their status as a global bank,” Solomon remarked.