Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bank South Pacific's 10% offer ends strike



ALL protesting Bank South Pacific workers will return to work today after the bank agreed to raise housing allowances for many of them.

The BSP management reached an agreement with the workers’ union yesterday, and a memorandum of understanding was signed to end the strike.

The striking workers, who had gathered at the PNG Trade Union Congress headquarters, agreed to return to work today after union executives informed them of the outcome of their meeting with BSP.

A joint statement by BSP and the union said the agreement brings to rest resolution eight of the nine outstanding “parked items” arising out from the 2007 consolidated industrial agreement.

The meeting between BSP and the union yesterday was chaired by Francis Hau from the Department of Labour.

The statement said the only remaining issue, housing allowance, would be determined through the industrial arbitration tribunal process. But, as a sign of good faith, BSP had offered a further 10% increase on housing allowances for all Grade 3 to Grade 8 staff.

BSP chief executive officer Ian Clyne said in a separate statement that the industrial action by BSP staff was illegal but assured the staff that no one would be terminated for participating in it, if all staff return to work immediately.

The bankers walked off their jobs work last Thursday, affecting the general services provided by the bank. Many of the ATMs ran out of cash yesterday, and customers stood for hours in lines waiting to be served.

A mother, Doris Okoli, said BSP guards were sending five customers into the bank at a time to be served.

“Standing in the queue with the unpredictable Port Moresby weather is really a terrible experience for me and most of the customers,” Okoli said.



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