Absa to take legal action to stop union
Johannesburg - Banking group Absa Group [JSE:ASA] has notified trade union Solidarity that it intends taking legal action to close down the webpage www.stopabsa.co.za which is part of a campaign by Solidarity against restructuring at the bank.
The trade union launched the Stop Absa campaign earlier this week in reaction to what it called the bank's controversial restructuring process, which it claims has already led to several retrenchments.
According to a letter Solidarity received from Absa's attorneys Adams & Adams in Pretoria, Absa plans to seek a high court interdict in order to close down the Stop Absa webpage and to force the union to discontinue the use of an altered version of Absa's slogan.
Solidarity deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann said the trade union is considering changing the campaign's slogan from Today, Tomorrow, Goodbye, to Today, Tomorrow, To Court.
"We are looking forward to seeing Absa in court to defend our constitutional right to freedom of speech and fair social comment.
"The Stop Absa campaign represents the voice of thousands of South Africans. In the past 48 hours, the campaign had 369 774 followers on Twitter."
South Africans can send protest messages to Barclays chairperson Marcus Agius and Absa CEO Maria Ramos via the webpage. Absa is a subsidiary of Barclays.
A video in which two employees speak about how they were retrenched, made to clear out their desks and escorted outside in front of crying colleagues, can also be viewed on the webpage.
Absa on Thursday denied that it is planning to retrench 3 000 staff.
It said there were no mass retrenchments being undertaken within the group.