Union to banks: Stop spreading fear culture of employees losing jobs to digitalisation

A stock image of an employee working in the office. Photo credit: Pixabay.

KUCHING, Aug 21: The National Union of Banking Employees (NUBE) today urged certain banks to stop spreading a fear culture that non-executive employees would be made redundant with the financial sector ramping up digitalisation.

NUBE Secretary General J Solomon said that union members did not oppose digitalisation but wanted to be given the necessary training and upskilling.

“Several banks have been telling our members that their jobs would be abolished and they risk losing their jobs when their work is automated or digitalized.

“We urge these banks to stop spreading such fears and instead emulate other banks who have provided the necessary upskilling to bank employees to ensure they remain relevant to needs of the banking sector,” said Solomon in a statement today.

He said the NUBE was especially sad with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for refusing the union’s invitations to explain the public policies in place to protect the livelihood of workers in the era of digitalisation.

“BNM have all the experts in digital banking and are in the best position to speak directly to our members and address their fears. Yet they always give excuses not to turn up.

“Even today, they did not turn up for our panel discussion on digitalisation in the banking sector. But we are happy that the Microsoft and representatives from other banks participated,” he said.

Solomon said BNM’s “passive attitude” sent the wrong message to employees in the sector.

“By refusing to address the concerns of our members, BNM may be directly encouraging banks to sideline the welfare of workers in their pursuit of digitalisation.

“There are banks who are looking after the workers interests but there are also banks doing exactly the opposite in going digital to maximise profits and reduce their work force,” he said.

Solomon said its members want to embrace this change and did not want to provoke any confrontation with banks which were using digitalisation to merely to maximise profits and downsize the very work force which enable them to earn huge profits over the years.

He said NUBE would be forced to take the necessary industrial action if pushed to do so by banks which continue to disregard the livelihood of workers, especially NUBE members who were in the B40 and M40 groups.—DayakDaily