Banks-employees talk wages
Ministry of Labor arbitrates to resolve row between ABL and bank employees
The Minister of Labor, Charbel Nahas, presided over an arbitration session in a bid to resolve a disagreement between the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) and the Federation of Unions of Bank Employees in Lebanon (FUBE).
The session aimed at negotiating a new collective labor agreement between the two sides. The two parties are set to submit their suggestions prior to another arbitration session on February 27.
In 2008, the ABL and the FUBE signed a collective labor agreement which stood until January 2010. No successive contracts have been signed since then.
According to member of FUBE’s board of directors, Fadi Mosleh, the agreement will remain effective until it has been replaced by a new contract. Mosleh said that the ABL had been stalling the negotiations to renew the contract. He said that the allowances, stated in the agreement, must be amended in line with the wage raise decree.
Mosleh conceded that the contract contains debatable articles. Thus, he said, the contract must be dissected and each article reformulated to satisfy both parties.
The FUBE argues that the banks are trying to evade the jurisdictions of Article 9 of the collective agreement. The said article states that starting the first of January 2009 (and throughout the contract’s duration) upon the issuance of a decree reviewing the minimum wage and the cost of living allowances, the banks’ employees, regarless of which category, shall benefit from an additional 25 percent of the increase stipulated in the decree for the first segment of the salary.
The agreement also stipulated that upon every issue of a new decree to review wages, both parties will meet to amend the scale of salaries. However after talks between the two parties failed, the ABL called on banks to sustain the allowances that had been applicable before December 31st 2011, thus exempting the allowances from the wage increase decree. This called the FUBE to summon arbitration from the Ministry of Labor.
Date Posted: Feb 13, 2012