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Review banking hours in T&T

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In 21st Century T&T banks are only open during what are considered to be normal working hours, except for one hour on Friday afternoons. As a result, all other employees routinely have to take time off “to go to the bank”. This is especially irksome at month-end, or other paydays, when “broken to tief” employees have to rush to collect their pittance or attend to other banking transactions. Needless to say, the amount of productive working time lost through this activity is enormous.

Hats off to the local branch of one foreign bank that has taken the lead in putting a stop to this nonsense. Let’s hope that all other banks in T&T soon follow suit. But there seems to be a huge stumbling block to achieving this. The trade union officially representing workers at some other banks thinks that it is heartless to try to drag T&T out of the dark ages. In fact, according to one newspaper, they boast of industrial agreements with “stringent policy guidelines in place ruling out Saturday work.”

Really? I sincerely hope that these guidelines are not carved on tablets of stone, and that the union concerned does not represent nurses or bus drivers or refinery workers. They would earn the gratitude and respect of all the citizens of this country if, instead of sticking their heels in antediluvian mud, they would move swiftly to negotiate suitable terms and conditions covering extended hours of work with those banks whose employees they represent.

George Boxill

Santa Cruz