by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by NUBE Malaysia
ABOUT 200 members of the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) staged a protest against MBSB Bank Bhd in front of the bank’s branch at Bandar Baru Bangi in Selangor on Wednesday, over allegations of discrimination and abuse by the management towards its employees.
Protesters in blue and white union t-shirts were seen holding placards and banners, while chanting “Hidup pekerja, bangkit pekerja” (live workers, rise workers).
Police officers were seen monitoring the situation in the area to avoid any untoward incidents.
NUBE secretary general J Solomon and other union leaders expressed their dismay over MBSB Bank’s actions at the picket, which lasted for an hour.
They outlined the reasons and objective of the protest, highlighting a list of alleged union-busting actions by the bank’s acting CEO and chief people officer (CPO).
Solomon said the bank also refused to provide NUBE-registered workers from the bottom 40% and medium 40% groups with temporary financial support of RM1,000, and manipulated worker designations and job descriptions to obstruct them from joining NUBE.
He added that MBSB Bank allegedly failed to deduct the union dues of the Digital Ambassadors who joined NUBE as promised and refused to accord the lower housing loan interest rate benefit for members as stated in the Collective Agreement.
“The picket will continue until we find a solution for all these disputes,” Solomon noted.
NUBE also urged Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan to sack MBSB Bank’s acting CEO Datuk Nor Azam M Taib and CPO Mohd Farid Shah Mohd Basir, who are accused of discriminating and oppressing workers’ rights. (EPF is the largest shareholder in MBSB Bank with about a 65% stake.)
The union stressed that the dismissal of MBSB Bank’s top management should be expedited as they are not bringing any benefit to the government as a bank whose interests are owned by government-linked companies, thus safeguarding the harmony and interests of MBSB Bank’s employees.
Apart from Bandar Baru Bangi, pickets were also held at four other branches — namely MBSB Bank Penang Branch (Wisma Penang Garden Business Centre), MBSB Bank Ipoh Branch (Persiaran Greenhill), MBSB Bank Melaka Branch (Jalan Melaka Raya 1) and MBSB Bank Kuala Terengganu Branch (Jalan Sultan Ismail).
The protest began simultaneously in all states from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
A total of 150 of the approximately 20,000 registered NUBE members currently serve with MBSB Bank nationwide.