Former Steward Bank employees who were axed from the institution last year, yesterday demonstrated at the Bank’s Avondale branch demanding compensation.
The bank, which is a subsidiary of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe dismissed 39 workers after the July 17 high court ruling which saw many Zimbabwean companies dismissing workers on three months’ notice basis.
In a two paged petition titled Steward Bank Workers Petition to customers of Steward Bank, the former workers said the terminations of their contracts was in sharp contrast of the Bank’s values.
“We the affected workers of Steward Bank are disturbed that these terminations are in sharp contrast with the purported steward bank values; Ubuntu, Excellence, Integrity, professionalism and honesty.
“We are also bemused by the fact that the bank is already embarking on a massive recruitment exercise soon after these unlawful terminations thus exposing the bank’s ill intentions,” reads the petition.
The sucked workers added that they are angered by the fact that the said terminations mainly targeted members of the trade union and the workers committee in direct violation of fair labour standards and anti-discrimination legislation.
The workers pleaded with the Bank’s customers to request it to resolves this gesture which they say is in sharp contrast with Steward bank’s values.
“We the affected workers hereby petition the customers of Steward bank and the public at large to appeal to steward bank for it to amicably resolve issues with its workers who have been thrown into the cold without compensation,” says the petition.
In the petition, the workers called on the bank to respect the provisions of the labour Act.
“As workers we want the bank to respect the provisions of the labour Act as amended and compensate the affected workers fairly,” said the workers in a petition.
Going forward the workers said they believe social dialogue in good faith between them and Steward Bank management can ensure a win win.
Addressing multitudes of people who convened at Steward Bank Avondale branch, in solidarity with the axed workers, Zimbabwe Banking Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) President, Farai Katsande said they have tried to engage Steward Bank management but their efforts were fruitless as they were given a cold shoulder.
He said Steward Bank is still a new bank and hence has to desist from such vicious practices.
“Bank iri re purple Iduku kwazvo harifanirwi kutipa maproblems. Ndiro gotwe asi rava kuda kukura musoro kudarika vemberi,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Steward Bank were fruitless.