Thursday, August 15, 2019

ATM fees, other charges must be cheaper under the regime of automation – labor group

The workers’ group Partido Manggagawa (PM) won’t let the bad idea of higher ATM fees die down despite assurances made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that they will oppose the banks’ plan to increase their ATM charges.

“Truth must be revealed by the banks on this issue: That the more the system is becoming smart and efficient, which is what automation achieves, the more the services become widely available and cheaper, if not free. The banks’ plan to impose higher fees on ATM transactions and other charges simply violates the economics of automation,” asserted PM Chair Rene Magtubo.

The group argues that under the regime of Industry 4.0 or automation, robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart machines displace humans in the workplace to achieve more economy and productivity. In the case of banks, human tellers were replaced by ATMs and AI, thus, labor costs were saved. 

“So where has the economics of automation gone under this scenario? Truth is, after human tellers were robbed of their jobs, these banks were planning to rob their depositors more to depreciate the robots and to compensate their CEOs. This is corporate greed, plain and simple,” lamented Magtubo.

The planned hike will affect approximately 6 to 8 per cent of minimum wage in NCR and Calabarzon areas, according to PM.

The groups argues further that much of these ATMs must have already been depreciated over time since it was utilized by the banking system and therefore the cost of capital recovery must be very minimal at this point in time.  Other than cost of capex, operations and maintenance the group said, the planned hike is for greed if not outright highway robbery.

15 August 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Labor group slams ATM fee hike

 Image result for atm image

The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) declared its opposition to the planned increase in ATM fees. “Charging P15 per withdrawal is already burdensome. Doubling the fee would be onerous on workers receiving their wages through payroll ATM accounts,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

He explained that “P15 is almost 3% of the daily minimum wage in NCR. Worse it is around 4% of the daily of a minimum wage earner in the Cavite economic zone. Doubling the ATM fee would mean banks taking 6 to 8% of the minimum wage of workers per withdrawal. This is highway robbery.”

The group called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to use its regulatory power to freeze once more any ATM fee hikes. PM also supported the congressional inquiry on the issue.

“We call on the bankers to moderate their greed. Unlike workers’ wages, banks’ profits are higher by 26% compared to last year,” Magtubo opined.

He reminded the banks that workers are forced to withdraw from ATM’s since salaries are now commonly received through payroll accounts. “It is no fault of the workers that they have to transact through ATM’s. And of course, the most convenient way is to access your account is from the nearest ATM which is not necessarily one from their payroll bank. Workers would not want to waste time and fare by going to their own bank’s ATM if is one or several rides away.”

August 13, 2019