A major labour grouping in the financial services sector, has lined up a series of demonstrations against POSB’s board and management over an array of allegations, chief among them incompetence.
The Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (Zibawu), said it was mobilising thousands of members including clients and employees to join in the protests over “deficiency of managerial acumen” at the state owned bank.
The development also comes after an internal wage negotiations between the bank and employees became deadlocked.
However, POSB chief executive Admore Kandlela, said the planned protests were misplaced as the bank was — in terms of the law — obliged to negotiate a wage increment through Zibawu.
A wage negotiation between Zibawu and the banks have since collapsed after workers rejected 3,4 percent offer from their employers.
The workers had requested for a 60 percent pay rise and the matter has been referred for an arbitration.
Despite the deadlock between the banks and employees, Zibawu president Mr Peter Mutasa, said this did not “preclude the workers from negotiating better conditions.”
This had happened with other institutions such as Stanbic, CBZ Bank and Nedbank which agreed to offer wage increase to their workers.
This week, the salary wage negotiations between POSB and the bank became a deadlock “after it become clear that the management was giving excuses to buy time.”
POSB rejected a 10 percent wage increment request by or non-managerial workers as well as school fees allowance to “cushion them from the current hardships.
“We were first told that the government was against salary wage hike but when we took a step to verify, the management backtracked and advised it was the board delaying.”
“We have lined up a month long struggle punctuated with pickets and demonstrations,” Mr Mutasa said.
“We are expecting demonstrations to be much bigger as we expect more stakeholders to join.”
Mr Mutasa said contrary to Mr Kandlela’s assertion that the bank would only negotiate at a sector level, this did not prevented workers from negotiating internally.
Mr Mutasa said the “bank was lagging” behind other players in the industry in terms of salaries.
“We are engaging the shareholder, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning over this.”
Mr Kandlela accused Zibawu of targeting banking institutions owned by the government.
He confirmed that the workers, through the labour body were raising immaterial issues, and exposes its lack of understanding of operations of the banking institutions.