Sunday, November 24, 2013

MALAYSIA:::S’wak union: HSBC is ‘threatening’ employees

Sarawak Bank Employees Union secretary Law Kiat Min said the union is protesting against HSBC Malaysia Berhad’s ‘blatant attempt to coerce, pressure and threaten employees’.
KUCHING: Sarawak Bank Employees Union (SBEU), which is affiliated to the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) and Federation of Banks and Financial Institutions Employees’ Union, will hold a statewide picket beginning tomorrow to protest against HSBC Malaysia Berhad’s decision to shutdown  its commercial banking division in Sarawak.
SBEU said it will picket in front of the HSBC Malaysia Berhad’ offices here and in Sibu on Nov 29, Miri Dec 7 and Bintulu on Dec 14.
SBEU general secretary Law Kiat Min said the union is protesting against HSBC’s “blatant attempt to coerce, pressure and threaten employees’.

‘We are also protesting against the discrimination and victimization of employees formerly attached to the division,” he said.
Last month,  HSBC Bank was reported to be winding down its commercial banking business in Sarawak as a consequence of its wide-ranging commercial review of the bank’s operations in Malaysia.
The bank said  it had been putting all of its businesses through strategic assessments since May 2011.
“Our decision to wind down our Commercial Banking business in Sarawak is the result of a wide-ranging review of Malaysia and is a commercial decision. We will remain active in Retail Banking and Wealth Management through our five branches in the state,”a HSBC spokesperson had said.
But SBEU said HSBC’s decision was discriminating against Sarawakians  and suggested that the ‘discrimination might spread to other states’.
It noted with concern the impact of HSBC’s attempt to justify its decision.
“In a damming indictment of the Government aspiration to be a fully developed state by 2020, HSBC has decided to close down its commercial banking Business in Sarawak.
“The Bank will close down every non individual account. deposit, loans and other credit facilities and trade financing of companies including Government inked Companies within 45 days
“Such decision goes to show that the bank has lost its confidence in the Sarawak as a corporate business.
“HSBC Bank’s decision is insult to the Sarawak Government efforts to promote SCORE and to transform Sarawak into a high income state and  the fact that Malaysia is the sixth easiest place in the world to do business’
“SBEU does not believe the Banks claim that it will continue to invest and grow the retail business,” it noted.
Discriminating Sarawakians
The union also noted its disappointment on the bank’s handling of the situation.
“SBEU is also very disappointed that in these difficult and challenging times, the bank has made a half baked attempt to mitigate the adverse impact of employees  losing their jobs.
“It has targeted only staff in commercial banking with a supposedly Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS).
“Senior managers of the bank have told staff that those who do not ‘volunteer’ for the VSS will be transferred to either Sabah or Peninsular Malaysia as they will be definitely no position for them in Sarawak,” noted the website.
It also stated that despite strong presentation by SBEU, HSBC Bank absolutely refused to open up the VSS scheme to all employees.
“The Bank is hell bent to force commercial Banking staff to apply to be transferred out of Sarawak.  This is discrimination of the highest order.
“Staffs that were just transferred to commercial banking are targeted. This included staffs that only perform minor commercial functions.
“To compound matters, the VSS is the worst ever at 1.4-month salary for each year of service, with a cap of 36 months.
“This also the worst ever offered by any bank in SBEU’s long history. Previous VSS package by the bank offered 2.25-month without a cap,” SBEU claimed.
In early 2011, SBEU members picketed at various bank  branches in Sarawak demanding that the bank pay cost of living allowances (COLA) similar to those paid to their Peninsular counterparts, salary adjustment and annual increment.

No comments:

Post a Comment