With only days left before Scotiabank ceases operations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the international bank has failed to pay all of the workers who are owed overtime as a result of not being paid since 2008 for their lunch hour by their employer as mandated by law.
Despite an announced agreement between the bank and the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers Union (CTAWU) to pay overtime wages covering a period of six years between August 2013 and August 2019, former employees who either resigned or were made redundant were not paid last Friday as indicated in the agreement.
Despite many of these employees having paid their union dues during the covered six year period, the union has apparently failed to represent them during negotiations held with the bank.
A former employee told ANN that several attempts by some former employees to contact Scotiabank locally and through the regional human resource office regarding the issue has being met with blanket silence.
Despite having contact information for many of the former employees, some of who remain customers, the bank has not contacted any of them to indicate intent to pay the overtime owed even though the bank has known of its obligation for many months.
“There is much more at stake than overtime back pay for these workers. Having been underpaid by what could be as much as 18% of their wages, the same would be true for the contributions employers are required to remit to the National Insurance Service- NIS”, one former employee told ANN.
As a result, employees may be paid smaller NIS pensions when they retire than that which would have been due to them had they been paid fully in the eleven year period beginning in 2008.
So workers are not only at risk of losing thousands of dollars today, but also long after Scotiabank has left, the former employee said .
As is exits the Vincentian banking industry on October 31st, Scotiabank seems set to join the illustrious ranks of employers such as Buccama Bay Resort who has ceased operations or exited the country without paying their obligations to their former employees.