Absa to take legal action to stop union

2012-03-29 16:47

Johannesburg - Banking group Absa Group [JSE:ASA] has notified trade union Solidarity that it intends taking legal action to close down the webpage 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.

  • Tanie - 2012-03-29 17:24

    It is not a surprise to me. You keep allowing foreign buyers from countries facing financial difficulties themselves, this is what you will have to cope with.Business is a much better done within the BRICS.

  • Kolobe - 2012-03-29 17:27

    why is solidarity only involved when absa retrenches?whole lot of coorporates doing the same thing.a bit suspicious

      alexander.lombard - 2012-03-29 17:44

      Ai.. Trade unions represent their members therefore they do this because they obviously had a lot of members at ABSA. You may ask why Cosatu represents sertain causes but not this one. ... It only makes sense

      Trent242 - 2012-03-30 15:50

      SASBO is the supposed Banker's union. Funny we haven't seen or heard anything from them. But then again, from my 10 years working for a bank, I know they are pretty much useless.

      Motho - 2012-03-30 19:04

      You are spot on Kolobe, why selective representation while many companies are reterenching people without any word from Soldarity Union?

  • aiazmir - 2012-03-29 17:40

    Oh and another thing. If the government is required to engage in a wider participation programme, why don't corporates? Is it that they are hiding, their true motivation, greed, or is it they have lost their sense of being being part of a wider community, that avails of their rigged and collusive services. In the 60's and 70's the banks openly colluded on pricing and then that collusion "went underground".

  • Louise - 2012-03-29 17:57

    Stick to Nedbank - still the best bank over the past 40 years that I've banked there in terms of service, products, ethics towards clients AND staff!

      Dan - 2012-03-30 19:08

      Sorry, I beg to differ. Their ethics towards staff and clients leave alot to be desired...if only you knew what went on behind the scenes...

  • EricksonTL - 2012-03-29 18:45

    I feel for the people losing their jobs - that's never a good thing. Then again, when last did anyone actually get GOOD service at ANY of the banks? Sad thing is, they probably won't base this on performance at all.

      Schmee - 2012-03-30 09:20

      The only person I ever see at the bank is a financial advisor who looks after my investments. She is extremely efficient and friendly. However in the past when I needed assistance from other staff it often was another story all together. I've often been told sorry but we don't do this or that. Every time I had to throw a tantrum and speak to a manager to get anything done. I got the impression the staff dealing with customers don't realise that we are king. So thank goodness for internet banking and ATM's. I don't need to see the rest of the staff, ever. Which brings me to the following points. Are their staff not trained properly in which case they should fire the managers or is internet banking just taking off to such an extent that they don't need staff anymore?

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-03-29 20:38

    ABSA is so greedy for money i am actually surprised that getting rid of people with having the highest bank charges in the land. I suppose the ceo's don't want to cut back on there fat cat salaries so the little people have to suffer

  • Schmee - 2012-03-30 09:07

    This is very disappointing. Did they by any chance retrench their whole public relations department? Been with them since when they were still Trustbank. I guess I will be looking elsewhere now. I am not having money that I have invested with them squandered on a court case of this nature.

  • Goitsemang - 2012-03-30 20:12

    Given the true fact that Absa is a south african bank which is colonially governed and controlled by foreign body it will show no remorse to downsize local workers as it has to meet the demands of its holding co so Solidarity protects the interest of its members,ayoba Solidarity ayoba

      basie.pretorius - 2012-05-11 10:38

      I beg to differ Absa is controlled by the ANC ( MAria Ramos) and who ever else is on the Board of Directors But they think they own the investors and not the other way around But then again so many of us has loans with them they think theu own us But screw them we will surevive WITHOUT ABSA

  • Alan - 2012-05-11 06:47

    Take them to court and make them bleed money !

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