The South African Society of Bank Officials (SASBAO), the largest finance union in South Africa has set a strike, protesting against job losses and retrenchments in the South African banking sector as a result of digitization and closing other bank branches.
They are planning five marches throughout the country in Johannesburg, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town.
Sasbo secretary-general Joe Kokela cry is on job losses at the banks and other financial institutions that are resulting from digitalization which is encouraging clients to use mobile and internet banking instead of visiting their local bank branch.
He is partly blaming technological advancements for the job losses, as a result, there will be shut down on ATM’s and internet banking.
Not all South Africans are in support of the strike, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) is trying to stop the national banking strike through an interdict against the protest action. BUSA plans to file a court application to interdict against the strike on behalf of South Africa’s commercial banks.
Kaizer Moyane, Nedlac convener for BUSA, argues that SASBO did not follow the right procedure for the strike. It’s not a strike, it’s protest action. Our argument is that they have not followed the procedure as prescribed in Section 77 of the Labor Relations Act. If they want to continue protesting, we believe they should follow the procedure,” he said.
Joe Kokela, however, dismissed BUSA’s argument as he said the protest action is legal as it is protected as per Section 77 of the Labor Relations Act.
He said “the action will be classified as a protected (legal) strike which means “no work, no pay and no discipline”.