Agribank Recruits for Scraped Posts

ALMOST seven years after abolishing certain posts and retrenching staff, Agribank is back on the market to fill up the vacancies, among them that of a public relations officer.

Thirty people were retrenched in 2007 during what the bank said was a restructuring exercise. In a 30-day notice given out, the bank asked the employees to either take early retirement, voluntary or involuntary retrenchment if they did not meet the requirements for the new positions.

Workers who had been with the bank for less than 20 years were also offered two-weeks salary per every year served while those who had been with the bank for more than 20 years were awarded a week’s pay for every year served.

The bank offered 100% medical aid contributions for all retrenched employees for six months and employees aged 50 years and above were given the option to buy out their medical aid up to the age of 55 in order for normal post-retirement benefits to start.

Study loans that had been granted to retrenched employees were written off and the bank offered counselling to the retrenched workers. All employees except chief executive officer Leonard Iipumbu had to reapply for their jobs.

At the time of retrenchment, it was suspected that the financial institution wanted to get rid of some people without making it obvious and opted to restructure. Those employees who were allegedly targeted were not taken back.

Some affected workers sued the bank.

Contacted for comment, Regan Mwazi, head of corporate communications at the bank, said they had changed the structure again over the years since 2007. Mwazi requested that further questions should be emailed to him to clarify the issue but by yesterday he had not responded to the email sent to him last Tuesday.

Labour Commissioner Bro-Mathew Shinguadja declined to comment on the issue.

Source : The Namibian