Lloyds Banking Group staff protest outside AGM
Yesterday, staff from Bank of Scotland-owner Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) held a demonstration outside the Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in a pay dispute with the bank.
Unite the Union members are angry that the 2022 pay arrangement has left many low paid bank workers fearing for their economic security.
Unite has gathered evidence from bank branch and call centre staff at LBG which shows some won’t be able to sufficiently heat their homes and others are having to sacrifice their future retirement plans by stopping pension contributions.
The union said it held this action as a first step towards sending a clear signal to the bank’s new CEO, Charlie Nunn, that workers are struggling through a cost-of-living crisis. Unite members rejected the bank’s 2022 pay offer, which has now been implemented.
At the demonstration, Lloyds staff hoped to send a message to Lloyds Banking Group: ‘Pay staff, not just shareholders.’
Unite is appealing to shareholders and the bank’s board to take a small reduction in their share buyback programme to bolster workers’ financial resources at a time when it has never been more needed.
Caren Evans, Unite national officer, said: “Unite members will today make their voices heard at the AGM. While Lloyds Banking Group are making obscene amounts of money year after year, we cannot accept a situation where their workers, the backbone of their business, are struggling financially.
“The workforce has told Unite that they won’t be able to sufficiently heat their homes. Some are even having to sacrifice their future retirement plans by stopping pension contributions, and many bank employees are having to turn to debt to pay their bills. These LBG staff aren’t fat cat bankers but everyday people giving their all for a company that is failing to do the same in return.”
She concluded: “Gentle words and platitudes by management won’t keep Lloyds workers warm or fed. Now is the time for the Lloyds Banking Group CEO to get off the sidelines and take real action to get money into the pockets of his workers.”
A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson told Scottish Financial News: “We understand that the wider economic circumstances are increasingly challenging.
“We believe our reward package is fair and competitive, including pay, bonuses, flexible benefits, pensions, and great options for agile and flexible working. Overall a majority of those union members who voted, voted in favour of the pay offer this year.”