Labour ministry to meet with CIBC, union tomorrow
WESTERN BUREAU: A meeting has been set for tomorrow afternoon at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to resolve the impasse between CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and its staff.
This morning bank employees stayed off the job, forcing the bank to close most of its locations islandwide, affecting several customers who turned up to transact business.
A notice posted on the door of the Fairview branch in Montego Bay, St James stated that only one of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank's branches across the island was opened today – Liguanea in St Andrew.
The ATM at the Fairview branch was also out of service.
According to Kavan Gayle of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), which represents 500 employees of the bank, management was aware that the staff had planned industrial action for today, but were not in a position to stop them owing to the fact that promises of rectifying severe resource shortage was not forthcoming.
“For some time now we have been having discussions with the bank around manpower resource. We consider that there is a staff shortage and vacancies have not been filled. And so in the branches and unit we would have requested that an audit be done to correct the situation,” Gayle told The Gleaner.
According to him, the bank's management had committed that plans were afoot to rectify the situation, however, at a subsequent meeting they were advised that they were pushed back until 2024.
Gayle said the workers, especially those dealing directly with customers, are forced to work long hours without a break, which is also causing customers to wait for lengthy periods before they are served.
“Things have become so challenging that when people are on vacation or even on sick leave, those who remain have to be taking on the challenges. We would have seen situations where persons would have been working extended periods over the normal working time,” said Gayle.
“The issue has taken a dramatic impact on our members and last week we indicated to the bank and served notice of the likelihood of action being taken to press the demand.”
The trade unionist added, “We have decided that the matter needs to be resolved and that is why you are seeing the action by the staff to press their demands.”- Janet Silvera
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