SA banks prepare for biggest strike in 99 years

Clients urged to use digital platforms.
Lenders will take precautions to minimise disruption relating to the proposed protest action on Friday, Sasbo says. Image: Mike Hutchings, Reuters

South African banks are urging clients to use digital channels as the industry prepares for what could be its biggest strike since 1920.

“Banks will be operating as usual on the day,” the Banking Association South Africa said in an emailed statement on Monday. Lenders “are taking the necessary precautions to minimise disruption” related to the proposed protest action on Friday by the South African Society of Bank Officials and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, it said.

Business Unity South Africa, a separate lobby group, is seeking to stop the Cosatu protest, as the notice filed by the country’s largest labour federation to support its affiliate may not have satisfied the requirements for the action to be legally protected, the banking association said.

The matter is scheduled to be heard in court on Wednesday. Cosatu will oppose the application, the federation’s national spokesman Sizwe Pamla said by phone. Sasbo has 73 000 members.

“Basa and its members recognise the rights of bank workers to engage in protest action,” the association said. “Protest action will not help to address the realities affecting the banking industry and will further burden the economy and deter investment.”

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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Don’t stop them from striking.

It will prove if they are needed or not.

Cant wait for the Libra (facebook currency) to get going. Might not need much from our SA banks with their high fees then.

The one area where South Africans are first in the world. Be proud all, we are excellent and just the best in striking. We should have a commemorative day for this.

What? Only one commemorative day? I want two. I’m going to strike for two…..

In the world of Fintech, I think a strike is the last thing bank employees should do now, this will only make banks double down even more on serving clients through digital channels.

I have not interacted face-to-face with a bank employee for nearly a year when I was FICAd. As long as their electronic banking and ATMs are working I do not mind the strike. Maybe it will last long enough so the saving in wages can be passed on to clients via reduced fees. (I doubt it)

Imagine if bank employees decided to embark on a day of ultra productivity to prove their worth by offering excellent service. Surely this would benefit their cause far more ? Their strike is merely going to re-inforce the fact that many of them are not needed any longer. Talk about the unions shooting themselves in the foot with this strike.

End of comments.





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