SASBO forges ahead with banking strike: ‘We’ll make sure ATMs don’t operate’

The South African Society of Banking Officials (SASBO) has confirmed it will go ahead with its national strike planned for Friday, 27 September.

Over 30,000 workers in the banking sector are expected to down tools.

Thousands are also expected to participate in a protest march to head offices of the major banks in Johannesburg.

The union is also planning other marches in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

Retrenchments

SASBO, which is affiliated to labour federation Cosatu, has called for the strike to oppose planned retrenchments in the banking sector.

It has called for a moratorium on job losses and has spoken against digitalisation of banking systems.

Speaking to SABC News, SASBO general secretary Joe Kokela said the strike will paralyse banking operations countrywide.

We will continue with the strike on Friday. South Africans need to know what is happening at the banks, how employees are being treated.

We will make sure that ATMs don’t operate. We will make sure that internet banking service is not working.

SASBO general secretary Joe Kokela

Kokela called for “up-skilling and re-skilling” of workers who may be affected by technological advances.

He further criticised the “exorbitant salaries” bank chief executive officers (CEO) are getting, adding that they contrast sharply with workers’ salaries.

SASBO especially cited Standard Bank’s recent closure of over 90 branches as a major cause for concern. 1,200 employees lost their jobs as a result.

According to Bloomberg, Nedbank is considering retrenching or redeploying about 1,500 employees.

Banks prepared for strike

Speaking to Business Day, Standard Bank spokesperson Ross Linstrom said the bank would inform customers in time should there be a disruption in services.

Absa and Nedbank are also reportedly in talks with SASBO with regard to the strike action’s expected impact.

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