The Daily Herald writes that RBC staffers are worried about additional dismissals as individual employees reportedly continue to receive termination letters, while others are said to be “walking on eggshells” as they are unsure of their job security.
The workers are also concerned about the reported closing of the bank’s Maho and Saba branches. Workers at the Maho location have been reportedly served termination letters and given until the end of this month to accept. RBC Manager Corporate Communications Dutch Caribbean Angela Guiamo told The Daily Herald in an invited comment that RBC cannot comment via the media on RBC workers’ concerns or issues. Guiamo said “out of respect we deal with any staff issue within the bank. And as a principle we do not respond on speculations and rumours.
RBC St. Maarten is focusing on doing what is required to position ourselves for continued growth and strong market performance.”
Asked whether reports that RBC’s Maho and Saba branches will be closing, Guiamo said RBC is in “a blackout period (quiet period)” for the entire month of February and the bank’s policy stipulates that RBC “cannot comment on these matters during such time. The quiet period ends at the end of February. By that time we will be able to answer your enquiries providing more clarity.”
This newspaper has been reliably informed that all five employees at the bank’s Maho branch have been given termination letters as that branch would be closed at the end of this month or earlier. “Right now everyone is walking on eggshells because no one knows who would be next,” said a usually reliable source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
There are also reports that a number of individual employees from the Cannegieter Street and the Emmaplein branches have also received termination letters. In the meantime, 12 of the 13 RBC workers who had been informed by management via a conference call in October 2013 that they have four weeks left to work, have since accepted their termination packages. One of the employees was hired in another section of the bank.
In the meantime RBC executives informed all employees in a letter dated January 23 that the bank is “operating in a period of low growth and considerable uncertainty given the weak economic environment in many parts of the Caribbean. “We are continuing to restructure and improve our business to better lead in the markets we serve and to sustainably strengthen our business performance, service and competitiveness. This includes maintaining our focus on customers and business growth, while aggressively reducing costs,” it was stated in the letter, a copy of which was sent to this newspaper.
“This work will accelerate in the early part of 2014 as we seek to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, while being focused on the markets in which we can be a leading competitor. Our aim is to have most of the changes either complete or in progress by the end of April. “This hasn’t been, and will not be, an easy process, given the impact on you, our employees. We are looking carefully at how we work across all levels of our organisation and to ensure we strengthen our business performance in light of the external environment we operate in. “Please be assured that as specific changes are determined, they will be communicated to impacted employees and clients with as much lead time as possible. As always, where employees are impacted, we will provide the necessary support to those not able to secure other roles within RBC,” the bank said in its letter.