Bank workers in protest over poor wages, high bank charges

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By Idah Mhetu

EMPLOYEES in the financial and banking sector under the Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (Zibawu) have accused banks of ripping-off clients while paying the bank employees slave wages.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa told when dozens of employees picketed the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (Idbz) that workers were suffering when banks were making a killing.

“Banks are making supper profits yet we are hearing that NMB has recorded a 155 percent increase in profits for half year, CBZ charging up to 15 percent interest rates. Many workers are losing homes, assets and properties because of banks,” he said.

“Why is it that banks are making money when everyone else is struggling?

“We are fighting for the workers because banks are not increasing salaries. It’s been five years and no salary increase in most banks and in those five years, they have been making money.

“Tomorrow (Friday) we will be demonstrating at the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) headquarters.”
Zibawu claims POSB has made about 27 percent profit but still refuses its employees any pay raise.

The workers have approached the management to increase their wages by 10 percent and to also include school fees benefits but the bank rejected the proposal.

The government owned banking institution is also being accused of trying to buy luxurious vehicles at the expense of its employees’ plight.

“We are also fighting a consumer battle,” Mutasa said.

“Banks have been milking customers and making super profits in an environment where everyone else is suffering. At POSB, we are having that problem where they have been recording profits.

“Furthermore, the union is also coming after Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Willard Manungo who also chairs the Idbz board.

“Manungo should leave the government owned banking institution Idbz and we are saying he cannot chair both the board and the ministry.”

The ZCTU president vowed to lead the workers to stage demonstrations at all the banks while demanding they reduced their interest rates and increase employees’ salaries.