Standard Bank may drop the axe freely – union

2010-10-13 09:32

Retrenchments at Standard Bank could extend beyond management level, trade union Solidarity said today.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] Standard Bank could still not say how many of its 30 000 employees would be affected by the planned retrenchments at the bank, and the bank could also not provide a guarantee that the retrenchments would be limited to management level,” Solidarity said.

However, Standard Bank had accepted the principles of Solidarity’s four-step social plan, which contained guidelines and methods to avert or reduce retrenchment and to mitigate its impact.

According to Solidarity, Standard Bank had indicated that it was analysing all its business units in South Africa in order to identify areas where costs could be cut.

The bank would then continue to consult with Solidarity regarding retrenchments.

Standard Bank was not immediately available for comment on Solidarity’s statement.

“It is important that Standard Bank complete its business analysis as quickly as possible and provide valid reasons for each individual affected by the planned retrenchments,” said Gideon du Plessis, deputy general secretary of Solidarity.

“It is also a cause for concern that the largest bank in Africa is now resorting to retrenchment shortly after the announcement of its favourable half-year results.”

Du Plessis said the biggest danger was that Standard Bank’s retrenchments could lead to a chain reaction in the rest of the financial sector.

“Solidarity has already appointed a task team to get involved in the consultation process.”

The team consisted of experienced negotiators who had already succeeded in averting several retrenchments at other companies.

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