The Standard Chartered Bank-Ghana has been caught in litigation with some employees after the latter launched a legal battle with management of the bank over Redundancy payments.
The situation is thus placing the bank in an uneasy situation, as its CEO Kweku Bedu-Addo is trying so hard to exonerate the Bank from what has been described as a ‘mess,’ and to bring back the lost confidence into the Bank.
The situation was based on the premise that management of the Bank in a letter dated February 29, 2016 made staff of the bank aware of the termination of their appointments, but were eligible for consideration for a discretionary variable compensation for the year 2015.
The said letter which was signed by the Head of PR, Rosie Ebe-Arthur indicated that the staff will receive redundancy payment of GHS177, 413.40 after all deductions were made from their salaries.
Uncomfortable with the position as expressed by the Bank, some employees of the Bank have filed a writ at the High Court contesting the decision of the Bank and the Union of Industry Commerce and Finance Workers.
In their Statement of Claim, the Plaintiffs averred that, in view of the change in management of the Standard Chartered Bank worldwide, the newly appointed group CEOtook a decision to manage and control “a lean and profitable bank,’ and the decision to restructure the bank was made known to them.
However, staff who were affected by the redundancy exercise were invited at various points and notified that their jobs were at risk.
They indicated that they were further informed that the 2nd Defendant (Union of Industry Commerce and Finance Workers) would launch negotiation into the terms of the redundancy package with the Bank (1st Defendant.)
Negotiations however begun in October 2015 without any efforts to include the Plaintiffs who were directly affected by the exercise to also make their inputs.
However, the Plaintiffs mentioned that, after sometime, they got wind of the redundancy package and became agitated hence made several frantic efforts to contact their executives from the Union but to no avail.
They pointed out that, the members of the Union of Industry Commerce and Finance Workers who were negotiating on their behalf did not know the length of service of each affected member although they negotiated for 27 people.
The Plaintiffs also stated that the MOU which was purported to have been signed between the Bank and the Union executives was executed in such haste “that the 1st and 2nd defendants forgot to include the month by the side of the (35) that means 17.5 year is what has been offered despite the length of service of the Plaintiff which ranges from 26 to 35 years in the 1st Defendant’s bank.”
Their Statement of Claim also has it that, the Plaintiffs were part of a special category of staff who by virtue of the number of years of service in the employment of the Bank, are recognized as such and offered a package that takes into account the number of years of dedicated and loyal service to the employer.
They noted that, the MOU dated 22nd January 2016 is unfair, discriminatory and not commensurate with the length of service of the Plaintiffs.
The Plaintiffs also said, the MOU is not in consonance with the agreement they signed with the Bank on 12th September 2014 which was capped for respective categories of staff of the Bank who have worked between 22.5 year to 47 and 49 months’ salary respectively.
In essence, the Plaintiffs said, the 2nd Defendant, Union of Industry Commerce and Finance Workers, did not seek their mandate in agreeing a package that is “worse, particularly for the category of staff in which the Plaintiffs fall.”
According to them they stand to lose if the Bank is allowed to carry out the redundancy exercise based on the package contained in the MoU signed between the Bank and Union of Industry Commerce and Finance Workers on their behalf.
Source: New Crusading Guide
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