Financial Services Union refer ongoing dispute with KBC over closure of branches to Workplace Relations Commission.

Issued : 8 October 2020

Bank refuses to engage on genuine staff concerns says Union.

Statement by John O’Connell, General Secretary of the Financial Service Union

The General Secretary of the Financial Services Union (FSU), John O Connell has today written to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) informing them that the FSU are now formally in dispute with KBC over the banks failure to address staff’s serious concern on its proposed plans to close four of its 16 branches or hubs. FSU is seeking an early conciliation meeting to try to save jobs and protect working conditions.

“Earlier this month KBC announced that it was closing four of its 16 branches without prior consultation with its staff or the FSU” stated Mr. O Connell “since then we have looked to engage with the bank at every possible opportunity to discuss the legitimate concerns raised by our members about redeployment issues, protection of pay, remote working and redundancy terms. It is extremely disappointing that KBC have refused to engage with the FSU on these serious issues”.  

Last year, appearing before the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform the Chief Executive Officer of KBC, Mr. Peter Roebben, highlighted the importance of its branch network for as he stated “customers seeking person to person interaction “.

 “I agree completely with the CEO on the importance of the branch network. In the middle of a pandemic the branch network has never been more important for people”, stated Mr. O’Connell.

The FSU stated that in their opinion this is another example of the significant cultural change journey that KBC has yet to make, the day of customers and staff being collateral damage should be gone from Irish Banking.

KBC staff in common with other retail banks were designated essential employee’s and management congratulated staff for their efforts in keeping services going during the pandemic. However, now the staff’s reward is compulsorily redundancies in one of the toughest years on record, with hundreds of thousands of people on state benefits also seeking employment.

“I have written to KBC requesting they urgently attend the WRC to begin immediate talks in relation to crucial issues affecting our members” concluded Mr. O’Connell.

 

Ends

NOTE: Embargo until 12 am 8th October 2020

 

Contact:

Brian McDowell

Head of Communication and Public Affairs

Financial Services Union

Ph: 0879161225

E: [email protected]

 

About FSU

The FSU is Ireland’s leading union across banking and finance. We represent thousands of staff across the main retail banks, and we have members in more than 80 companies across the finance and fintech sectors. Our members are spread Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. We are headquartered in Dublin and we also have an office presence in Belfast. We are members of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and UNI Global finance union.

 

FSU General Secretary: John O'Connell

Our website is: www.fsunion.org

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