Muhammad Yunus has become famous with microcredits for the poor. Now the founder of the Grameen Bank money house in Bangladesh faces complaints from disgruntled employees of a subsidiary.

Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus has been sued by over 100 disgruntled employees of Grameen Telecom, a subsidiary of the Grameen Bank for microcredit he founded. They accuse Yunus and other Grameen Telecom managers of refusing to share their profits, the plaintiff’s attorney said.

Grameen Telecom is required by law to share five percent of the company’s profits with employees, lawyer Jafrul Hasan Sharif told AFP. However, the company has not done this for ten years. A spokesman for the Nobel Peace Prize winner did not want to comment on the allegations on request.

Economist Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his commitment to fighting poverty in Bangladesh. His Grameen Bank, founded in 1983, grants microcredit to the poorest in the country, mostly to poor women.

A white vest looks different

In the past few years, he has had to answer several times in court. It was only in January that Yunus was released on bail by a labor court after an arrest warrant. He had been tried in court for the dismissal of three Grameen Telecom employees.

In January 2011, allegations against the business conduct of 79-year-old Yunus and the Grameen Bank were made for the first time. He then resigned from his post as head of the bank.

According to Yunus’ supporters, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the puller behind the withdrawal from the top of the bank. At that time, Hasina accused Yunus of “sucking the blood out of the poor” because his bank allegedly charges interest of around 20 percent.

Critical reports on the benefits of microcredits have increased in recent years. Several scientific studies have not found that microcredits have an anti-poverty effect. Many borrowers get stuck in a debt trap. Even many supporters of microcredit meanly admit that the positive impact of small loans is unclear.


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