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posted 20 May 2019, 19:55 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 20 May 2019, 20:12 ]
Mario Als, Deputy President of the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU), issued the following statement on May 20th 2019.


Mario Als
Once again, the Royal Bank of Canada is engaging in the mass termination of employment of workers. We have been advised that the Bank has issued an ultimatum to eligible workers in Service Delivery to apply for their Voluntary Separation of Employment Package or Voluntary Early Retirement Package, if age 50 and over. 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.”

In other words, the Bank is saying to the workers that it is either they leave willingly or they will be thrown out on the breadline. Either way, workers or their families once again are being sacrificed by this foreign investor so that it could maximise its profits.

Already, we have seen that since the Union applied for recognition in 2011 the number of Workers in the Bargaining Unit then was l,999. By ZOI7, the number of workers was cut down to 1360. Over the past eight (8) years, over 700 workers and their families were sacrificed on the altar of profits.

lt must also be recalled that this bank fought and continues to fight against the Recognition of our Union so that its workers would not have a Trade Union to represent them. To make matters worse, because of the reduced workforce and the closure of several branches, the remaining workers have been put under tremendous stress to cope with the workload.

This exploitation of workers is no different to how customers reacted to the increase of fees and introduction of new charges for on-line transactions and paper statements for two (2) consecutive years in a row.

Given the fact that the Prime Minister has already admitted that since 2015 to now, some 20,000 workers have lost their jobs and more are slated to go, our Union calls on the Minister of Labour to intervene at RBC and stop the continued retrenchment orgy. 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.