Standard Bank rejects the only means of its profit share in Namibia: Muchima

16 Jul 2019 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 16 JUL (NAMPA) – Standard Bank only pumps money into the Namibian economy through its employees, and still refuses to grant their salary increment request, Bank Workers Union of Namibia (BAWON) Secretary General, Thomas Muchima has said.
Speaking at a media conference here on Tuesday, Muchima added that the bank rejected the union’s proposed 6,2 per cent increment for the 2019/20 financial year and firmly offered a 5,2 per cent solution which the union declined.
Muchima emphasised that despite the bank’s N.dollars 400 million profit in the previous financial year, the bank only contributes to the country through their employees’ salaries apart from their social corporate responsibility, which he said every establishment is prescribed to do.
“Despite the current economic situation Standard Bank is making a profit and the profit is being shipped out of Namibia. They do not reinvest the profit back into Namibia and they argue that they do so through their social corporate responsibility,” he stressed.
He expressed that their proposed increase will warrant N.dollars 40 million only from Standard Bank’s N.dollars 400 million profit, but that the bank does not want this as it will mean their shareholders will receive less dividends which they will not accept.
“How come employees work hard for shareholders’ dividends, but the employees who generated the N.dollars 400 million do not get the same sort of recognition,” Muchima charged.
The unionist further explained that the next step will be to have a ballot countrywide for its 1 300 members to decide on whether a strike will be declared.
“The intention of BAWON and its members is not to go on strike, but if we are to be pushed in a corner, we will be left with no choice but to embark on a peaceful nationwide demonstration,” Muchima said.
He also queried whether the 1 per cent difference of 6.2 per cent to 5.2 per cent will result in a loss for Standard Bank.
A statement issued by the bank on Tuesday stated that the average 5.2 per cent salary increase offered is significantly higher than the 4.1 per cent inflation rate.
“In fact, more than 60 per cent of Standard Bank employees would be getting an increase of between 5.5 per and 6 per cent based on their 2018 performance,” it added.
It further noted that if a strike is decided upon, the bank has in place contingencies to ensure that disruption to its services are kept to an absolute minimum.