According to a report in Free Malaysia Today (FMT), National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) has claimed that an international bank is planning to layoff 60 low-level staff in Malaysia. The layoff is part of a restructuring exercise, to which the bank is claimed to offer affected staff a voluntary separation scheme (VSS).
Speaking to FMT, NUBE secretary-general J Solomon said: “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.”
He also added that the layoff is part of the bank’s plans to restructure its banking system. Additionally, 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 commented.
Solomon said the bank’s VSS was contrary to a prior agreement between the two organisations where it specifically states any restructuring exercise that affects NUBE’s members must be discussed with the union at least three months prior to the exercise.
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. According to him, the bank had refused. He’s hoping that staff would not agree to the VSS as it is “unethical and will lead to unemployment”.
“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 concluded.
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