General News of Thursday, 7 September 2017
The management of HFC Bank has in compliance with Ghana’s Labour law affirmed the unionization of its staff and to that effect, all is set for the inauguration of the union on Friday, September 8, 2017 at the headquarters of the bank
A memo to all staff of the bank signed by Frances Sallah-Brown; Head, Human Resources confirmed the recognition of the union in the operations of the bank.
Part of the memo said, “On 2nd of August, 2017 the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) Ghana became the recognized collective bargaining unit for some of our staff. The coming on board of the ICU into the HFC family heralds the dawn of a new beginning in industrial relations at HFC Bank.
Although in the past, management has always ensured that all our practices conform to best practice standards, going forward, management will necessitate dialogue with the union before any benefits to the staff can be implemented.”
The memo further assured staff of management’s willingness and commitment to working with the union to promote industrial harmony.
“We look forward to working with the ICU as we achieve our strategic objective of being a leading financial institution in Ghana. This can only be achieved with all the constituents i.e. customers, shareholders and employees working together to the mutual benefit of the bank.”
A letter for the inauguration of the HFC Bank union signed by Emmanuel Benimah, Deputy General Secretary in-charge of Administration for the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Ghana addressed to the Head, Human Resources of HFC Bank said, “We write to notify you of our intention to hold a general meeting with your employees who are our members to inaugurate the union.”
The letter further stated, “We are grateful if you could release the workers to attend the brief ceremony. We take this opportunity to invite management to grace the occasion.”
Investigations conducted by News Ghana indicates management of HFC Bank has been quite instrumental in the unionization of its staff as it has encouraged the staff to join the union.
Management has also offered its premises freely to the staff to be used to inaugurate their union and was in the process of notifying all eligible staff to be present.
Attempts by several workers in certain businesses in the country to unionize have been met with fierce resistance by their management.
The unionization of staff of HFC Bank is therefore welcoming as they join others like the National Investment Bank (NIB), GCB Bank, Stanchart and ADB Bank.
Some banks in the country yet to be unionized include Ecobank, Access Bank, Prudential Bank, Zenith Bank, Unibank and several others.
It would be recalled that management of the HFC Bank recently decided to outsource the services of its 54 drivers nationwide to a private firm, Mon-Tran Limited.
The drivers were given a one-month notice ending August 31, 2017 during which affected persons will be paid 2 months for each completed year of service.
A letter by the bank dated July 27, 2017 signed by Frances Sallah-Brown; Head, Human Resources cited by News Ghana said the company took the decision in order to cut down cost.
The affected workers together with some staff of the bank and the leadership of the ICU demonstrated and registered their displeasure criticizing the bank for breaching the country’s Labour Act, Act 651.
Management of the bank subsequently had a meeting with the leadership of the ICU to resolve the problem to ensure industrial harmony.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the HFC Bank and the ICU signed by the parties dated August 24, 2017 agreed on the severance package for the affected drivers.
The package include three months basic salary for each completed year of service and pro rata, outstanding leave days to be commuted to cash, repatriation allowance of GH?1000, and Provident Fund (PF) payment (A and B) as per the rules of the PF agreement.
The rest are FAMSEC payment as per the rules of the FAMSEC agreement, 25% discount on outstanding balance on mortgage loan, one month pay in lieu of notice as well as training to be provided to affected staff through Mon-Tran.
News Ghana investigations has revealed the affected drivers are happy with the severance package negotiated for on their behalf by the leadership of ICU on one hand and the HFC Bank led by its Consultant, Mr. Austin Gamey.