Sunday 27 September, 2020

BIGWU: What about the dismissed CIB workers?

The Banking, Insurance and General Workers’ Union (BIGWU) has expressed concern over what it describes as the “uncertain fate” of CLICO Investment Bank (CIB) workers.

The Union said it has looked on over the past two weeks as words have been exchanged over the CL Financial bailout matter, with Government, investors and policy holders having descended into name-calling and finger pointing.

In spite of statements from the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, former ministers, attorneys, policy holders and shareholders, the Union said there has been nothing said about the plight of the 78 workers who were suddenly retrenched when the Central Bank assumed control over CIB February 2009.

BIGWU said the workers are owed more than $2 million in severance payments, and despite going to the Central Bank on numerous occasions following their dismissals, they were turned away and told that they should return another time pending further developments.

The Union said the workers then turned to BIGWU, and it immediately took up the matter and entered into discussions with the leadership of the Central Bank.

After the first round of meetings, BIGWU was told that the Central Bank was reluctant to pay workers any severance due to legal implications and consequences with other creditors of CIB.

The Union's efforts at litigation at the Industrial Court were stymied by the passage of legislation which prevented litigation against the Central Bank in the instance of it assuming control of a financial institution.

Section 44E(5)(c) of the Central Bank Act prevents the union from bringing, commencing or continuing a claim against the institution or its successors. It also prevents the union from bringing claims against the Central Bank.

The Union also questioned which entity will control the sizable assets of CL Financial regardless of whether or not the company is liquidated.

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