Transferring salaries to banks... tensions, negative effects, and strikes

English - Tuesday 26 September 2023 الساعة 06:19 pm
Aden, NewsYemen, exclusive:

In a field tour, Newsyemen surveyed the opinions of some employees in the capital, Aden, after their salaries were transferred to banks and mass strikes were initiated.

The employees fear that their salaries will be transferred from the state resources item to the aid item, which may be paid one month and stop for 3 months, depending on the availability of the aid budget. The government is evading its duty towards the employee under the pretext of the collapse of the budget, even though the salaries of its officials are in hard currency.

However, the Ministry of Finance, in more than one statement, denied reports of transferring salaries to aid and donations, stressing that disbursing salaries through banks is aimed at putting an end to job duplication and combating corruption.

However, the transfer of salaries to the fourth item was not the reason for the employees’ dissatisfaction, but rather the commission paid to disburse salaries with a value varying according to the amount of salary for the transfer.

The employees confirmed that it is supposed to be the responsibility of the government that decided to transfer salaries, pointing to the amount of interest that banks and exchange companies will reap from the value of the transfers as a result of transferring the salaries of more than 8,000 employees.

Salem Al-Jafri, a bank employee in the Crater area, expressed his dissatisfaction, saying: “400 Yemeni riyals were deducted from our salaries under the name of hawala, and there is no right to deduct any amount, even if it is small, as our salaries do not exceed 60 thousand riyals.”

For his part, an employee named Ali Al-Azizi said that the payment of their salaries had been postponed in another batch due to the inability of the money exchange to deliver all salaries on time.

Some employees and teachers in some schools and the office of the University of Aden expressed their rejection of the decision by going on strike and paralyzing the educational process in the capital, Aden.

They considered this decision an insult to teachers and employees, who now stand in line for long hours to receive their meager salaries, which are not enough to cover the costs of life.

Educational sources confirmed that the Ministry’s justifications for transferring salaries to banks, such as combating job duplication and facilitating the disbursement of salaries to employees who are not performing their work or who are traveling, did not solve the problem due to collusion between these facilities. They pointed out that the only solution is to form an anti-corruption committee to inspect these facilities.

Employees said, “As for receiving the salary from money changers or banks, it will not be of any benefit because receiving it by card and signature, as women in particular can receive the salary of others, by wearing the burqa, as the salary is not delivered by verifying or matching the photo of the identity with the same person, especially for women".

Some argue that employees could be provided with better banking services, such as bank transfers and internal transfers, which could be safer and faster.

Economic journalist Majid Al-Daari wrote that the percentage of what government banks received from disbursing salaries used to go mostly to agents of exchange companies, before its approval was canceled in the recent circular of the Ministry of Finance, which limited the matter to disbursement through banks only.

He added, "This makes the task of receiving more difficult and makes employees crowd the bank branches, most of which deal with them with excessive superiority or bureaucracy, and sometimes respond to them with the usual excuses such as the system is suspended, we no longer have any liquidity today, the transfer has not arrived, I will return tomorrow, and other excuses."

He continued, “All of these excuses push employees today to refuse to transfer salaries to banks because most of them, unfortunately, treat them as if they are beggars. This is a fact that must be recognized and has its reasons, which are mainly due to the ineligibility of most bank employees first, before the banks’ departments and capabilities, to carry out a national mission like this.”

According to Al-Daari, the experience of banks in disbursing salaries is neither new nor a unique precedent limited to Yemen, but rather most countries in the world disburse the salaries of their employees through banks...but the difference and the problem lies in the incompetence and readiness of the banks we have today to disburse salaries, for many reasons related to the war and its repercussions on the banks and the reasons Other technical issues, the most important of which are the limited branches and spread of banks and the absence of automated technology in them, such as ATMs, modern technical systems, electronic withdrawal points, and other means of facilitating the process of receiving the salary, while not ignoring the error of exchange through representatives or exchange companies in return.