SunTrust Banks is a huge multinational corporation with $189 billion in assets. Clearly, the banking business has indeed been profitable for SunTrust. Which makes what they recently told about 100 employees so puzzling.
The bank recently let over 100 highly trained IT workers go, but it’s trying to retain their services for free by attaching a “continued cooperation” clause to their severance package. So if these employees don’t sign the contract containing the clause, they lose the entire severance package and walk away with nothing.
According to Computer World magazine, which examined the contract:
“The bank’s severance deal includes a ‘continuing cooperation’ clause for a period of two years, where the employee agrees to ‘make myself reasonably available’ to SunTrust “regarding matters in which I have been involved in the course of my employment with SunTrust and/or about which I have knowledge as a result of my employment at SunTrust.”
Additionally, the magazine noted:
“The employees were informed of their layoff at the end of September, and the last day of work for some is Nov. 1. This is according to several of the affected employees, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. This assistance can be by telephone or in-person meetings, and it may be provided without ‘additional consideration or compensation of any kind,’ the clause says.”
One of the affected workers said:
“How do they think this is acceptable?”
Simple. They have nearly $200 billion in assets and you don’t. How typical this is of big business in today’s marketplace. They use their employees up, cut their jobs, and then expect them to remain loyal to the corporation as if nothing has happened.
I one had an employer in the public relations field who was in the process of cutting staff and eventually filed for bankruptcy because, as it turned out, the owner had been stealing money from company accounts. This same owner came to his employees and told them they would have to work without pay for up to six months until business picked up. How did I react to this news? I went to the owner and informed him what he was asking for was unfair to all of us. He laughed and told me to take a week off to reconsider.
A week later, I packed my personal items into boxes and walked out of that office after tendering my resignation. And the workers who stayed for the additional six months? They got nothing, because of the bankruptcy.
How I hope and pray these SunTrust IT employees take the bank to court. This kind of thing has got to stop, and it has got to stop NOW!
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.