RBC Royal Bank to meet with Labour Department and Union Representatives
by Bria King
Officials of RBC Royal Bank will meet with representatives from the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers’ Union (CTAWU) in mid-January to discuss issues relating to large amounts of overtime pay owed to RBTT workers.
Normal operations at the RBTT Bank, which is a local branch of RBC Royal Bank resumed yesterday, after employees stayed away from work last Friday, December 20 resulting in the closure of the branch.
Joseph ‘Burns’ Bonadie, general secretary of the CTAWU told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that he had no comment as to whether the trade union supported the workers’ decision to stay away from work.
But he said that the issue stems from large sums of money owed to workers for overtime.
“…the Bank owe the workers a lot, a lot of money for overtime and we’re trying to get it resolved now for the longest while. They making all sorts of excuses,” Bonadie said. “Eventually we sat down, I told them what to do. I said if you feel that you want to have some form of conciliation just like Scotia Bank did, just like First Caribbean did, send the matter to the Department of Labour. I gave them that advice weeks and weeks ago. They are now doing it for next year.”
The trade unionist said that had the bank followed his advice, it would have never gotten to the stage where the bank could not open last Friday.
The RBC Royal Bank on Friday issued a release to express their disappointment with “this unfortunate industrial action being taken by its employees with the apparent support of the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers’ Union”.
The release also said that the job action, on the last Friday before Christmas served only to negatively impact clients seeking to access banking services at this busy time of year.
Bonadie said that following Friday’s closure of the Bank, RBC Royal Bank sent a letter to the Labour Commissioner on that same day to schedule a meeting to discuss those matters.
“They (RBC Royal Bank) called me this morning to…ask me whether the week of the 13th of January is…if I am available. Of course I am available,” he said.
Bonadie said that they agreed to meet on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
It was announced earlier this month that Royal Bank of Canada had entered into definitive agreements to sell all banking operations in the Eastern Caribbean including its business in St Vincent and the Grenadines to a regional consortium of banks. The banking consortium consists of the Antigua Commercial Bank, the First National Bank St Lucia, National Bank of Dominica, the Bank of Montserrat and the Bank of Nevis. Information is that the SVG branch will be wholly acquired by the First National Bank of St Lucia.
The trade unionist told SEARCHLIGHT he anticipates that matters regarding RBTT workers will be resolved long before the transfer of banking operations goes through.