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Tuesday 25 June 2019
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Union: RBC staff told to apply for VSEP – or else

RBC on Park Street, Port of Spain. Photo by Jeff K Mayers
RBC on Park Street, Port of Spain. Photo by Jeff K Mayers

Employees 50 years and over at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) who are 50 and over ave been given an ultimatum. Apply for their Voluntary Separation of Employment Package or Voluntary Early Retirement Package, or they will be thrown on the breadline.

So says the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU), which added that the bank has made it clear to all that "if the voluntary programmes do not attract the anticipated employee participation, RBC may undertake an involuntary programme to achieve our productivity objectives, consistent with local legal requirements and provisions."

BIGWU said workers and their families were once again being sacrificed by the foreign bank so it could maximise its profits. It added that RBC has always fought against the union so its workers would not have a trade union to represent them.

The union said over the past eight years over 700 workers were "sacrificed on the altar of profits."

Because of the already reduced workforce and the closure of several banks, said the union, the remaining workers have been put under tremendous stress trying to cope with the workload. The union said this exploitation of workers was no different from the way customers reacted to the increase in fees and introduction of new charges for online transactions and paper statements for two consecutive years.

BIGWU said given that the Prime Minister has admitted that since 2015 to now, some 20,000 workers have lost their jobs and more were slated to go, it was calling on Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus to intervene and stop the retrenchment.

"The working people of this country have already been over-traumatised with the sending home of thousands of Petrotrin and TSTT workers. This has to stop. The workers must not be made to pay for capitalist greed."

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