JOHANNESBURG – Labour unions have reacted to news that Standard Bank plans to close down 91 branches across the country, which may result in 1 200 people losing their jobs.
Eugene Ebersohn, assistant general secretary at Sasbo, said the finance union would not condone any action by the employer that could place any of its members at risk.
“What is happening in the bank right now is of serious concern given our country’s high unemployment rate. Any job losses based on operational requirements will inadvertently suppress the sustainability and growth of our economy and this we cannot afford,” says Ebersohn.
Sasbo said Standard Bank had conceded to its demands in agreeing that retrenched staff would be able to make use of training and upskilling opportunities provided by the bank in order to start with careers even outside the finance sector and to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment.
Standard Bank says the shift in customer behaviour means that its clients are using its branches less.