As it is not enough that economy and businesses are battling, the unions live and breathe the smog of fear of anyone, who is threatened to lose their job. Hence the union for the banking sector have motivated and instigated once again a strike of epic proportion, designed to cripple the ruling banking mafia. More than 50 000 bank employees will be protesting against retrenchments on Friday 27 September, making it difficult for consumers to transact, according to the finance union SASBO. This protest action has been planned since June and there is no way the union will back out now, even if banks change their minds about retrenchments ahead of the protest scheduled for Friday. “As SASBO we are adamant there is nothing they (banks) can do,” a spokesperson commented and added: “We no longer trust what banks are saying and doing to our members.”
SASBO says it represents about 70% of workers in the banking sector, about 73 000 people of which between 45,000 and 50,000 workers have committed already to protest against retrenchments caused by branch closures in recent months. Earlier this year Standard Bank closed 91 branches, with as many as 1 200 jobs affected,and ABSA also warned that hundreds of its jobs may be at risk as part of a restructuring initiative.
“We will shut down systems in the banking industry,” SASBO said and confirmed that ATMs will also be affected, as well as any card transactions. “Make sure you have enough money (cash) on Thursday!” … “No one will be able to transact, unfortunately,” he emphasised.
This week’s protest is protected under section 77 of the Labour Relations Act because it is related to a socio-economic matter, SASBO said. SASBO has received a certificate from the National Economic Development and Labour Council to go ahead as the union wants banks to consider other options besides retrenchments, such as reskilling programmes for workers to stay employable. The protest, which will kick off at 10:00 on Friday, will be nationwide, with marches taking place in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Durban. There will also be picketing. SASBO will hold another march, on October 7.
This protest will be led by trade union federation Cosatu.
PLEASE NOTE: SARS has warned that the strike may impact tax payment and refund transactions, and encouraged taxpayers to conduct any transactions with SARS at least two business days in advance.