THE National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) today claimed that bank employees had received an inferior and regressive bargain compared to the Festival Aid agreement in the previous year.

In a statement, it claimed that the Human Resources Minister had not acted in favour of the employees and was not a neutral and objective third party.

“The Industrial Relations Act 1967 clearly states that the Minister’s role is to act as a neutral and objective third party that conciliates a trade dispute.

“However, the action of the Minister is contrary to the law and the principles of the reconciliation which they have been assigned to adhere to since the Act was enacted.

“If the Minister inadvertently made a mistake and he amends the mistake, NUBE is willing to look past the regrettable incident,“ it said.

NUBE said it does understand that errors do happen, and the HR Minister, with just around 100 days on the job, might have unintentionally made a mistake.

“However, if the Minister continues to misuse his Ministerial position to abuse the laws that he is duty bound to uphold, he is setting a bad precedent for the 16 million workforce and the entire government machinery.

“The inaction of the Human Resources Ministry might cause an impression that the laws are only applied to regular people but not the Ministers,“ said NUBE.

The bank employee union said this unfortunate situation undermines faith in the reconciliation process, potentially biasing it in favour of employers and leading to non-transparent agreements that disregard worker interests.

“It leaves workers in limbo and is bad for people and businesses. NUBE stands for the workers, and we are committed to fight for the rights and welfare of our members,“ added NUBE.