Categorized | National News

BFSU President: RBC Employees Need To Be Unionised

Employees at the Royal Bank of Canada – the oldest bank in the country and the largest in Canada – need to become unionised, according to the Bahamas Financial Services Union (BFSU) President Theresa Mortimer.

Ms. Mortimer was speaking to layoffs that allegedly took place in the bank over the past few weeks.

Sources have confirmed that at least seven people have been let go from the bank over the past two weeks.

Unfortunately, Ms. Mortimer told the Bahama Journal that Royal Bank workers are the only ones in the financial services sector that are not unionised.

She said several of them called her soliciting help but she told them there was nothing she could do.

“I can’t do anything for you because you are not a part of the union,” she told the Journal that she had to tell a former employee.

“In the financial services sector we have a slogan that says its better to have a union and not need one, than to need a union and not have one. Royal Bank right now needs a union and they don’t have to worry because we are already here.”

She said the BFSU represents all people in the financial sector.

“And that covers the commercial and offshore banks, insurance companies and anyone who deals with the collection of money and anyone who is registered under the Central Bank Act,” Ms. Mortimer said.

“There is nothing wrong with being in the union. No one wants to be a part of a union until something happens and then at that point it may be too late.”

Mrs. Mortimer also explained what it will take for Royal Bank workers to join the BFSU.

“All we need is the staff in The Bahamas to say we are on board,” she said.

“Once we get 51 per cent, we then have to present our petition to human resources, human resources will then pass it on to the bank’s directors and then they will deliberate and even if they don’t comply then its left to the minister to determine whether we have the numbers we need and then he will recognise us.”

She said it is important for all workers to be apart of a union.

“It’s never too late,” she said.

“It’s Royal Bank today but it could be ScotiaBank tomorrow and First Caribbean after that.”

RBC Responds To Layoffs

Royal Bank of Canada officials said as a result of technological advances and to enhance operational efficiency and cost management, RBC has made changes to its Information Technology structure in The Bahamas, Caribbean and in its global operations.

“As a result of these changes in The Bahamas, certain processes and positions are no longer required,” according to a statement issued by the bank yesterday.

“This change has impacted seven of our team members in the Information Technology Department. As per our normal procedure, these persons will either be able to apply for other positions within the bank, if they have the requisite skills to fulfill any open and available positions. Otherwise they will receive separation packages. We value the work and commitment of our team members and recognise the key role they play in our success.”

Bank officials maintain that they have treated the employees impacted with fairness, respect and compassion.

“RBC continues to modernise and expand its operations in The Bahamas to better serve its clients,” according to the statement.

“The bank recently held the official opening of its expanded JFK branch during the 40th Independence Celebrations. The new branch represents a $1.1 million investment and is evidence that RBC is growing and investing in The Bahamas. In addition, RBC is building a new branch in Lyford Cay, which is scheduled to open soon. It will be a 6,000 square foot, stand alone, modern banking location with ample parking for clients, representing another $3 million investment in The Bahamas.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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