By Ndakaziva Majaka
HARARE – Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (Zibawu) on Monday warned Stanbic Bank of a full blown strike if they did not hike employees’ salaries by 10 percent.
Farai Katsande, Zibawu president, spoke on the sidelines of a demonstration by Stanbic workers.
The union was calling on Stanbic — a member of South Africa-headquartered Standard Bank — to effect a salary increment, offer school fees assistance, full medical aid cover and lunch allowances.
“These workers have been in negotiations with their management but management has refused to review or increase their salaries,” Katsande said.
“The workers need 100 percent medical aid cover, and at the moment the company is offering 70 percent cover.
“We are also here to help them in their cause to look for school fees assistance from their employer. They have approached their employer for $200 school fees assistance for each child but the employer blatantly refused.”
Efforts to get an official comment from the bank were futile.
Zibawu said Stanbic non-managerial workers in Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo were going to undertake a collective job action against the “oppressive and carefree Stanbic Bank.”
According to Katsande, talks between management and the workers collapsed after they failed to effect a 10 percent salary increament in the past months.
“The minimum wage in the sector is $626, which is a gross figure,” he said. “After mandatory deductions like Nssa, this money falls way below the Poverty Datum Line.
“Workers cannot be subjected to such harsh conditions working for an employer making as much as this financial institution is, its daylight robbery.”
The union is advocating at least $700 in salaries for each of the workers per month, with allowances.
The financial institution recorded a profit of $18,3 million for the year to December 31, 2013 from a $17,2 million profit prior year comparative, with a 13 percent growth in the lending book from $229 million in 2012 to $258 million in 2013.
Katsande said failure by Stanbic to meet the demands would lead to industrial action by the bank’s employees.
“It is simple, workers have tried to reason with them but they are not being reasonable. If they continue with this behavior their bank will also be boycotted,” Katsande said.
He however did not give a time-frame for the full blown strike. Daily News