Losing your job is a pretty horrible feeling, no matter what the circumstances – whether it be because you’re a lousy employee or the company is downsizing. Legal minds are set to battle in courts of law following a suit filed by 10 ex Crane Bank staff. The 10 representing the over 400 laid staff are suing dfcu that took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct Crane Bank for ‘wrongful sacking’ in what they say contravenes the Employment Act (2006).
While is easy to get emotional about this and point the accusing finger at dfcu, there is more to what meets the eye as to why this was expected to happen as soon as the takeover. For starters a substantial number of staff employed were expatriates who were overpaid and this was ultimately tilting the wage bill for the bank, not to mention that some of the staff were reportedly involved in activities like falsifying documents and fraud and as such could not be taken on by the new employer.
Recently dfcu bank released its unaudited interim financial results for the six months to June 2017 indicating a significant 389.08% rise in its profits for the period.
The interim financial results indicate Total income rose 204.33% to Ugx255Bn ($70.85Mn) compared to Ugx83.80Bn ($23.28Mn) in the same period last year. Profits after tax went up 389.08% to Ugx114.05Bn ($31.68Mn) relative to Ugx23.32Bn ($6.48Mn) in 1H2016. It is evident that this rate of performance requires carefully and selective human resource.
Crane Bank had employed 127 expatriates including security guards and yet Ugandans could do these jobs for which these guys were being paid a lot of money. Most of the staff who were laid off received ex gratia that was over and above their statutory payments. The level of exploitation was so high with some staff (tellers) earning 500K and working under really harsh conditions essentially earning peanuts and being over worked. There were no investments in staff; they were not empowered and never trained and career growth was unheard of. Medical was limited to a select few, NSSF was never paid and this is one of the issues Bank of Uganda is benchmarking in their case against CB and former directors.
DFCU could not have been expected to keep all the staff for the simple reason that it did not make business sense. With some branches merged and duplication of positions at head office level it was only prudent that they would need to let go of some employees. To expect them to keep all former Crane Bank staff would be foolhardy.
Meanwhile the staff that were retained by dfcu are by far enjoying a far better work life than they were before- they have better pay with tellers earning over 1.2m, accessing medical coverage, getting training, access to loans for personal development etc.
On the whole this desire to sue dfcu bank is totally unfounded and smells of conspiracy to taint the image of dfcu which stepped in to save customers deposits and maintain semblance of stability in the banking sector which could have been a total disaster had Crane Bank been allowed to continue on the path to distraction.