PETALING JAYA: A leading international bank is set to dismiss 60 low-level staff in Malaysia, claims the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE).
NUBE secretary-general J Solomon said the bank was trimming down its workforce by offering a voluntary separation scheme (VSS). However, he added, selected workers were bullied into accepting the VSS.
“The bank is attempting to sack 60 of its employees by offering a VSS, which actually isn’t voluntary. Staff members were told to accept the VSS, otherwise they would be transferred.
“The bank’s reason for this is that it intends to restructure its banking system,” he told FMT.
Solomon claimed the VSS could be a ploy for the foreign bank to get rid of its long-serving staff in order to hire new workers asking for lower pay.
“That is their main objective and we are not very comfortable with that,” he claimed.
Solomon said the bank’s VSS was contrary to a prior agreement between NUBE and the foreign bank.
“NUBE has an agreement with banks that specifically states any restructuring exercise that affects our members must be discussed with us at least three months prior to such an exercise being carried out.”
Solomon claimed that the labour department, under the human resources ministry, had also advised the bank to stop its plan to offer the VSS and instead engage NUBE in discussions. But the bank refused, he said.
“I hope the bank’s staff will not agree to the VSS because it is unethical and will lead to unemployment.”
Solomon also expressed disappointment that the government had failed to address the issue even though NUBE had filed a complaint.
“We have complained to the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara, but no action was taken. Bank Negara should have taken action and not allowed those with ill intentions to sack their workers,” he said.