Banking front liners deserve accelerated COVID vaccination, union says

Tensions are rising among front liners outside of healthcare services who remain at risk of contracting COVID-19

The Malta Union of Banking Employees (MUBE) is calling on the health authorities to provide guidance on vaccination plans and concerns from employees in the financial services sector.

The union said that tension is increasingly high amongst banking front liners, which mostly includes customer facing employees.

"Front liners in the financial services sector that are performing a critical sevice have been responding efficiently, and thus MUBE expected that the healthy authorities would by now provide the necessary assistance and guidance, such as a timeframe, whereby front liners will be vaccinated, minimising risks to the employees and the customers," the statement reads.

MUBE said that they will continue to support the health authority's vaccination efforts, but questioned the authority's refusal to accelerate vaccination to front liners in the sector. 

"Such critical service demands continuous contact with customers and/or interaction with external officials for long sessions in a normally ‘closed’ working environment, and the Malta Union of Bank Employees feels that it just does not make sense that they are not vaccinated whilst others in other sectors who do not have similar circumstances are being vaccinated." 

Several bank branches and offices faced temporary closures due to positive cases found, with one BOV employee passing away while positive for COVID-19.