Several photos surfaced online on May 11th showing employees of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) protesting in Shanghai. The protest was due to their dissatisfaction with salary cuts, which occurred after an employee from the bank’s wealth-management subsidiary complained about a nearly 70% reduction in pay.
In a statement, SPDB clarified that the strike which occurred outside an office building in Shanghai’s Lujiazui finance and trade zone was due to an internal dispute at the outsourced IT firm. The management and staff of the company were engaged in talks to resolve their differences. Additionally, SPDB confirmed that the pay cut was imposed on an employee who had failed to pass a performance review. The employee had accepted the adjusted pay after communication by the bank’s wealth-management subsidiary.
As per a report by The Economic Observer, an employee who identified themselves as being from the Credit Card Center of SPDB stated that the individuals present were all part of the credit card direct sales team. They had gathered with the intention of communicating with the bank to protect their lawful rights and interests. In late December, they received sudden notification from their company that their labor dispatch contract would be transformed into an outsourcing contract, which has violated their rights and interests.
The individual mentioned above stated that last year, many employees collectively demanded an explanation from the bank. However, there was no follow-up to their request. After the Spring Festival holiday, they discovered that their income had decreased by over 50% compared to before. This reduction in income made it difficult for them to cover their living expenses and prompted them to demand an explanation from the bank once again.
The 2022 annual report of SPDB reveals that the bank’s credit card center has added 169 employees since 2021, bringing the total number to 11,975. Additionally, the asset size is reported at 424.419 billion yuan ($61 billion).
In recent years, many banks have reduced their employees’ salaries. Data from Hithink Flush Information Network shows that 21 out of the 42 A-share listed banks have experienced a decrease in average employee compensation. Bank of Jiangsu and Bank of Xi’an had more than a 10% decline in their average employee compensation. Additionally, SPDB’s per capita salary decreased from 458,800 yuan in 2021 to 454,600 yuan in 2022.