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FirstCaribbean International Bank downsizing

FirstCaribbean International Bank downsizing

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The FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB) is in the process of downsizing its staff across the region, and employees at the local branch, located on Halifax Street, are already being affected.{{more}}

Three of the institution’s middle managers have been made redundant. It is believed that they have been offered a package by the Bank.

The Commercial Technical Allied Workers Union (CTAWU) is now in discussion with the Bank, with regard to the status of approximately 30 of its employees who are represented by the Union.

When contacted on Friday, March 18, General Secretary of the CTAWU Joseph ‘Burns’ Bonadie told SEARCHLIGHT that the Union has held two meetings with the Bank, along with the Bank’s Human Resource personnel based in Trinidad, Barbados and St. Lucia, and was expected to have another meeting yesterday, Monday, March 21.

“They proposed downsizing the Bank and that is in relation to areas in the Bank that they are amalgamating,” said Bonadie.

In a meeting on Thursday, March 17, Bonadie said he told the Bank that he will have to be guided by the employees.

Bonadie said he suggested that the Bank reallocate employees within the institution, as well as offer them the opportunity to leave.

He said that he also requested that the Bank provide the Union with the criteria on which its actions will be taken.

Unlike the situation in St.Lucia, where FirstCaribbean on Friday, February 25, 2011, made three of its employees redundant, after only three days notification, Bonadie said the branch here has indicated that it is desirous of exhausting discussions with the Union.

“In our case, we are talking,” said Bonadie.

“What we ask is that if the Bank is rationalizing, you can’t really tell them that they can’t do it. But the point is, what we are saying to them, you have to justify it to us that that is necessary,” said Bonadie.

Following the lay-offs at FCIB in St.Lucia, workers at three of FCIB’s branches staged industrial action. The union representing the workers informed the Bank that it was in contravention of its own rules, which state that the Bank has to provide 50 days notice before it could make any position redundant.

The union had also pointed out that anything to do with staff positions and dismissals or making staff redundant would have to be done on a regional basis.

A week after the St.Lucia situation, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) put their FCIB branch on notice that it will not be allowed to get rid of workers without facing the wrath of that Union.

“What we are trying to do now is to make sure that we can get the best deal, but of course I will have to be guided by the people who work there first, before we make the next move,” said Bonadie.

Meanwhile, the CTAWU on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, signed a new collective agreement with the Bank of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, formerly the National Commercial Bank.

Bonadie said the Union was given the assurance that the question of rationalizing within that institution is complete.

Bonadie disclosed that the CTAWU is now in discussions with RBTT which was recently bought back by the Royal Bank.

He said RBTT will be advertising new posts, but these will be filled internally.

SEARCHLIGHT made repeated attempts to contact Country Manager of FCIB Elroy John, but our attempts were all futile.