In a letter of complaint dated September 23 in the possession of businessdigest, the Standard Chartered managerial staff committee alleged the financial institution had refused to negotiate salaries with them; and unilaterally withdrew a 13th cheque. The letter was copied to the bank’s human resources department and Labour and Social Welfare minister Paurina Mpariwa.
Lawyers representing the managerial workers, Maganga & Company Legal Practitioners, said the financial institution has not given their clients the opportunity to negotiate for a salary increase.
The managerial staff said its members last received a 5% increment in July 2010 after receiving one in November 2009.
The staff argued that other employees always negotiate for an increase.
The letter reads: “Other employees who are not managerial employees have had their salaries increased. The banking industry got 30% in March 2010, works council got 40% in July 2010, backdated to July 2009, a 13th cheque in September 2010 and in the meantime the banking industry is in the process of negotiating a further salary adjustment effective from July 2010.”
The bank withdrew the 13th cheque without consultation, the managers alleged.
“The employer has, despite acknowledging the existence of the Managerial Employees Workers Committee, refused without any reasonable cause, to negotiate with the said workers committee in clear contravention of the law as espoused in part 11 and 111 of the Labour Act,” reads the letter.
The committee is said to have on several occasions approached management with a view to negotiate an employment code of conduct, managerial employees’ salaries and other conditions of service, but the bank refused to meet the committee.
“Several members of the complainant have been dismissed through the use of the National Employment Code of Conduct regulations contained in statutory instrument 15 of 2006 on some matters which would not ordinarily result in dismissal,” stated the letter. “In some instances, even when an appeal is lodged, the employer sat on such appeals for close to five months without even hearing them. As a result, our clients feel gravely disadvantaged hence the need to negotiate and register their own code of conduct.
“The employer has also unilaterally withdrawn the 13th cheque in respect of managerial employees without first discussing the issue with the affected employees. The affected employees had a legitimate expectation to receive the 13th cheque but it was unilaterally withdrawn by the employer to their detriment or prejudice.”
Businessdigest could not ascertain at the time of going to press if the bank had responded to the accusations and when the Labour Relations Department would hear the case.