The Employment Ministry has said some of the over 2,000 workers of Consolidated Bank who will lose their jobs in a retrenchment exercise will be engaged in “other alternative uses of labour.”
This suggests that some of the affected staff with relevant skills to the sector will be put together and made to render auxiliary banking services.
This came to light on Monday when Deputy Employment Minister, Bright Wereko-Brobbey, confirmed that the Consolidated Bank Ghana will lay off over 2,000 workers after it completes the rationalisation process.
He told Newsnight on Joy FM on Monday that the retrenched workers can also to re-apply to be considered for new roles at the bank.
“We are looking at numbers in the region of 2,985 staff [to be retrenched] and they have asked all these people to apply and then some of them will have employment. So if people will lose jobs at all, it will be in the region of, let’s say, half about 2,000 or so,” he said.
He urged workers affected by the retrenchment exercise to take advantage of the bank’s decision to consider them for re-engagement “and do as expected of them and then compete in the labour market in terms of the banking sector.”
Management of Consolidated Bank, established to take over five defunct indigenous banks, told Government and Labour Unions after an emergency meeting held on Monday, September 10, that it will retain only a sizeable number of its staff.
The central bank, Bank of Ghana, announced the creation of the Consolidated Bank Gh. Ltd in August to take over some struggling banks in the country: Sovereign Bank, Royal Bank, Beige Capital, Construction Bank and Unibank.
The five financial institutions had run into severe liquidity challenges and breached banking regulations, according to the Bank of Ghana.
The rationalisation at the Consolidated Bank is seen, therefore, as a strategy by the new management to make it more efficient and enable it to deliver on its mandate to remain a viable institution in the banking space.
Job loses not widespread
According to Mr Wereko-Brobbey, Government has not been aware of job losses in other sectors of the economy.
He made this statement in relation to reports that the effect of the effect of the banking crises was being felt at other sectors of the economy and manifested in the form of job losses in these other sectors.
Companies that until recently were providing various services to some of these banks are beginning to downsize in order to stay in business.
It emerged recently that GN Media, TV Africa and EIB among others were laying off some workers while salaries remain unpaid for days, weeks and months.
However, the Deputy Minister said this was yet to reach Government officially.
“Now that you are raising concerns in other sectors, formal notification has not gotten to the Minster [of Employment] yet. I am sure as you are saying, we should expect Unions, we should expect people to officially come to us,” he told the host of Newsnight, Emefa Apawu, on Monday.