T&T Republic Bank branches shut as workers stay away over wages

(Trinidad Express) Republic Bank temporarily closed a number of branches yesterday after staff members stayed away from work.

The bank diverted employees from other branches to maintain operations at the ones where staff members were absent.

In a statement yesterday, the bank confirmed that its Marabella, Mayaro and Fyzabad branches were closed because of absentee staff, while its Glencoe and Grand Bazaar branches were closed to allow staff members to provide support at other branches.

Republic Bank advised that all other branches, ATMs and online and telephone services remained operational.

The bank said that it was currently in negotiations with the Banking, Insurance and General Workers’ Union for a new collective agreement, and speculated the “unusual staff absences” may have been linked to these.

Union representative for Republic Bank workers Jason Brown said employees could have applied for a legitimate personal day to participate in May Day (International Workers’ Day) activities.

He said the bank’s offer of 7.5 per cent was “disrespectful… in face of its continuous billion-dollar profits”.

Brown said workers would be back out today.

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