Nube objects InvestPenang-HSBC MoU, says it undermines workers' rights

09 Feb 2022 09:00pm
Nube secretary-general J. Solomon
Nube secretary-general J. Solomon

SHAH ALAM - The National Union of Bank Employees (Nube) has raised objections to the InvestPenang and HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd’s action, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to focus on bringing high-quality foreign investments into Penang and Malaysia.

Its secretary-general J. Solomon said this was following HSBC's repeated actions to undermine workers’ rights in the country.

The actions by the bank, he said included breach of labor laws and regulations by laying off employees, particularly the union members during the pandemic, last year, and the closure of numerous branches making it difficult and burdensome even for customers in the country.

“On Dec 7, last year, Nube held a meeting with the Penang state government to raise a stand against the state government's move.

“Deputy Chief Minister II Professor Dr P.Ramasamy who chaired the meeting heard views and arguments put forward by the Nube delegation.

“He promised to revert as he was not aware of such MoU, and assured that workers issues are the state government’s priority,” he said.

Solomon said Nube recently received a letter from the state government defending their collaboration with HSBC, implying that the state government will continue to implement the MoU that has been signed despite the exploitation of workers and several international financial scandals.

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He said the union welcomed ethical and law-abiding foreign investors and their investments to Malaysia since such employers will not only provide employment opportunities but also safeguard the rights of workers and not otherwise.

The HSBC Group, he said has been the centre of several of the biggest financial scandals uncovered this century, worldwide.

Countries such as Australia, South Africa, Argentina, the United Kingdom and Switzerland have all fined the HSBC Group over charges of money-laundering besides being involved with tax evasion and defrauding its own clients, he added.

"The HSBC Group has long been alleged and associated with bankrolling global deforestation, leaving affected communities around the world in the lurch.

"It is also under fire for holding millions of shares with a Chinese firm linked to atrocities against the Uighur Muslims," he said.

The union, he said believed that it is in the best interest of all parties to end the collaboration between InvestPenang and HSBC.

Nube has urged the state government to review the MoU signed with HSBC in the best interest of the people of Penang and Malaysia, especially workers who are from the B40 and M40 groups.