Probe bank jobs
Smith calls for study of financial institutions
The island’s main public sector trade union wants an investigation into the employment practices of commercial banks in Barbados.
Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Roslyn Smith told Barbados TODAY this afternoon there was need for a study to be conducted into the ratio of locals to foreigners being employed by such financial institutions.
Although the NUPW – the leading public sector trade union – is not the bargaining agents for bank employees, Smith was concerned about the pending loss of Barbadian jobs as a result of the planned streamlining of Scotiabank and RBC Royal Bank.
“Is it that we are going to lose all Barbadians employees to something else?” the union leader asked. “A survey needs to be done to see what ratios of locals are in these banks.”
Smith further stated that the public needed to get involved in this matter because, “at the end of the day, you are seeing layoffs to Barbadians . . . What is the other percentage of persons?”
The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) is the main bargaining agent for employees of commercial banks, but General Secretary Toni Moore could not be reached for comment on Smith’s suggestion.
Last month, Scotiabank announced it was closing 35 branches in the Caribbean, including Barbados, and cutting 10 per cent of its staff over the next two years.
However, it did not say how many local employees would go on the breadline.
RBC has already sent home 15 employees from Barbados, as part of the streamlining of operations across the region.
Another Canadian-headquartered commercial bank operating in Barbados has also served notice of pending consolidation. While no mention has been made of retrenchment, the locally-based FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB), which is a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), has informed customers of its intention to further consolidate its back office services which support its lending, account and client information processing. It also said it planned to outsource computer operations and some administrative and service functions to its parent company CIBC.