South African finance union wins recognition with Capitec Bank
UNI Global Union affiliate, Sasbo, has signed a Recognition Agreement with Capitec Bank in South Africa, after a near ten-year organizing campaign.
The agreement, signed on 24 June, is the result of a challenging and hard-fought battle to recruit and represent workers at Capitec – South Africa’s fastest growing retail bank. It means the union will be able to secure collective bargaining rights on matters such as working conditions and pay.
“This (Agreement) will go into our history books as a huge victory for Sasbo and its members in the finance sector of South Africa,” said the union, which represents 6,300 workers at Capitec.
Sasbo finally reached the 50% +1 needed for majority representation in December 2019. However, when the bank stalled negotiations for a Collective Agreement, Sasbo issued a ballot for strike action in February 2020. It was overwhelmingly supported by members and helped to pressure the bank into resuming talks.
Despite delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa, the union was able to engage with Capitec virtually and make the necessary progress to reach an agreement.
Keith Jacobs, UNI Africa regional secretary, said:
“We are proud of the role UNI Africa has taken in supporting Sasbo in its steadfast campaign to gain recognition at Capitech. Despite the long and difficult journey, Sasbo never gave up and their win is well-deserved.”
“We wholeheartedly congratulate Sasbo on this important victory, which will benefit thousands of finance workers at Capitec in South Africa. Sasbo’s perseverance has paid off and we commend their determined efforts to organize workers on the ground, in often very challenging and anti-union conditions,” said Christy Hoffman, UNI general secretary.