Friday, September 18, 2020

Bank union prepares to go on strike next month

The Botswana Bank Employees Union (BOBEU) is preparing to go on a nationwide strike that is scheduled to start sometime next month.

The union has promised to paralyze the daily business of the bank.

Barclay Bank is expected to lay off over 200 of its employees starting next month.

The chairperson of the union, Jayson Chakalisa, told Sunday Standard that the union is very disappointed about the conduct of the bank and described it as “arrogant and heartless to its employees” and confirmed that “the union has decided to go on a nationwide strike sometime next month”.

Chakalisa said although he is not yet certain about the exact dates, the union had come to the conclusion that the strike at Barclays should take two days, saying that two days would be enough as they do not want their members to suffer for going on a strike.

He said that they want the strike to be legal.

“We will target the most strategic areas that will affect the daily running of the bank, which will eventually amount to huge looses,” he said.

Chakalisa said that he would not reveal the strategic areas that they will target as it is part of their strategy to force the bank to listen to the union.

He further said only Barclays Bank employees will participate in the strike but other bank employees will not take part in the strike “as they have cordial relationships with their management”.

About the Barclays customers, he said, “They should bear with us because the circumstances are beyond our control but after two days they will get the services back.”

He explained that the reason that forced them to go on strike is simple because Barclays management does not consider them as partners, “instead they are enemies to the bank”.

“Since the beginning of this year, we have been trying our level best to discuss with the bank about the retrenchment package that the bank has proposed but, instead, the bank does not want to sit with us at the table and come up with a suitable package that will please both parties,” he said.

Chakalisa said, as the union, they want the bank not to rush but do things in an open manner.
He further said they made an urgent court application to the industrial court but lost the case.
He said the union’s legal advisor told the union that they should not appeal the case as the appeal will take a very long time to be heard due to the backlog of cases.

He concluded by saying that he was hopeful that the strike would be successful.
Barclays Bank was not available to comment on the proposed industrial strike.

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