Union blows hot on First bank over purported sack of 1000 staff in waiting

Union blows hot on First bank over purported sack of 1000 staff in waiting


Source: The Nation 21 Nov 2019.

National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) yesterday said it would shut down all First Bank operations nationwide should the bank go ahead to sack over 1000 workers as planned.

The union has directed its members never to accept any disengagement letters from the bank without authority from the union.

Speaking with The Nation, the President of the Union, Anthony Abakpa said the bank has concluded plans to sack the workers without following due process.

“We got the information this morning that First Bank Nigeria is going to distribute letters to over 1000 members of the workforce today without any negotiation with the union,” he said.

Abakpa said the union would resist the action and would shut down the operations of the banks as the act runs contrary to labour law in the country.

He noted that the union would force the bank to respect labour laws, adding that the bank needs to adhere to laid down guidelines and negotiate good severance packages before sacking workers.

We believe in dialogue and collective agreement. Anything that is alien will be unacceptable because we will not support plans that will not be in the interest of workers, he said.

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The NUBIFIE chief said the union has alerted the parent body, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Ministry of Labour and Employment on the bank’s plan and what would be the reaction from the union.

He said: We have also communicated with our sister union in the bank, the Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) so that all of us will be on the same page.

The Ministry has promised to call the bank for a meeting tomorrow. We got to know that they said the number is not up to 1000, but they are not denying that they have it in the pipeline to sack workers at this period of the year.

We considered this unacceptable, most especially without carrying the union along.

The ASSBIFI President, Oyinkansola Olasanoye also confirmed that the bank was in the process of disengaging the workers, saying she was in contact with the NUBIFIE leadership and has put her members on the alert should there be need for any industrial action against the Bank.

Efforts to get First Bank for their action was abortive as the Corporate Affairs Department of the bank did not pick any calls.

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