Absa says jobs U-turn is temporary

Absa says that the withdrawal of retrenchment notices to some employees in its IT business is temporary, following consultation with finance trade union, Sasbo.

The union expressed its dismay at the bank using email to issue retrenchment notices to its staff and called on the bank to withdraw the ‘letters’, which the bank agreed to do.

John Dludlu, Absa spokesman, told BusinessTech: “Following consultations with our recognised labour union, Sasbo, Absa confirms it has temporarily withdrawn notices of retrenchment to some impacted employees in its IT business unit.”

“Absa regrets that the timing of the letters was asynchronous with the timetable agreed with Sasbo and has implemented measures to ensure that due process is followed. Absa has undertaken to continue its open dialogue with Sasbo to finalise the next steps in this process.”

Unions have claimed that up to 3,000 people are being retrenched by the bank, a claim which Absa has denied.

Union, Solidarity, claimed last week that nearly 140 Absa employees were being forced to resign from Absa in order to circumvent a mass retrenchment. It claimed that employees were sent an e-mail to inform them that they would be retrenched on 9 June.
In February, it was reported that up to 200 IT staff at the bank were put on ‘gardening leave’.

A spokesperson for Solidarity said the IT employees were escorted out of Absa’s offices and sent home for a three-month “gardening leave”.

Absa explained that the employees were placed on “a three-month re-assignment process”.

“All options were exhausted and discussions now commenced with those individuals who either opted not to take up available options within the business, or simply could not be placed because their skills did not match available opportunities.”

Solidarity told BusinessTech that it is also investigating cases of intimidation and victimisation of IT staff at Absa. It said it was dealing with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on the matter.

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Absa says jobs U-turn is temporary