Equity Bank South Sudan employees go on strike

The over 200 employees want their medical covers reviewed, salaries increased besides demanding for flexible working terms.

Tuesday January 19 2016

Equity Bank Group CEO James Mwangi at a past conference. The Bank’s South Sudan employees have gone on a nationwide strike demanding better pay. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Equity Bank Group CEO James Mwangi at a past conference. The Bank’s South Sudan employees have gone on a nationwide strike demanding better pay. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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Employees of Equity Bank South Sudan have gone on a nationwide strike demanding better pay, even as pressure continued to pile on the young nation’s currency.

The over 200 employees want their medical covers reviewed, salaries increased besides demanding for flexible working terms.

An internal statement by the employees to the management says: “There was no communication on how we were going to be paid since every economic variable has changed in the market after currency devaluation up to date. Therefore we demand our salary to be converted from South Sudan Pounds to US Dollars using an exchange rate before devaluation, or multiply our salary by the Devaluation Multiplier Effect which is equivalent to six.”

In the last few days, the South Sudan currency has depreciated by 85 per cent. This came after the Central Bank of South Sudan abandoned the fixed exchange rate regime, allowing the Sudanese pound to trade freely against other currencies.

However, the Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi did not comment on the issue as he did not receive calls from our reporter.

Employees have resorted to continue with the strike until their demands are met saying that the management has ignored the requests forwarded earlier hence the need for the action.

The strike is the second nationwide strike after a similar one in 2013 that saw employees of all South Sudan Equity Bank branches strike over low pay.

Staff raised issues of salary increments, reduction in working hours and the need to promote staff, which they said were not met.

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