Standard Chartered Bank has reportedly been rocked by an internal crisis where managerial employees have filed a complaint to the Ministry of Labour over alleged unfair labour practices by the bank.
According to a letter dated September 15, addressed to the Labour Relations Department of the ministry, the bank’s Managerial Employees’ Association represented by Magan’a and Company law firm, accuses Standard Chartered Bank of undermining the workers’ committee and negotiating issues pertaining to employees’ remuneration in bad faith.
The employees allege the bank refused to negotiate with their committee whose members last received a cost of living adjustment in October 2009.
The lawyers wrote: “Our clients verily believe that such conduct on the part of the bank is deliberately aimed at undermining the trade union and tantamount to negotiating in bad faith.
“This has been made even worse by the fact that between October 2009 and now, non-managerial employees have been awarded salary increases in excess of 75%.
“Historically, our members have always received a salary increase more than their non-managerial counterparts and as such were expecting the same past practice to prevail.”
The dispute between the bank and its managerial employees is said to have started two years ago when the managerial employees registered the association which the bank allegedly refused to recognise.
Following the internal clashes between the bank and its managerial employees, the matter was referred to an arbitrator, who, on March 21 this year, ruled: “It is ordered that Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe recognises the established managerial employees’ workers’ committee as a legitimate body in terms of Section 23 of the Labour Act.
“That Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe engages works council negotiations with the established managerial employees’ workers’ committee and shall resume such negotiations within fourteen days from the date of receipt of the award.”
The bank is alleged to have unilaterally adjusted salaries of some employees who were perceived to be earning less than non-managerial employees by 52% while the same increment was not extended to managerial employees.