NUBIFIE Resists Sack Of Members In Bank

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The leadership of the Na tional Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has threatened to challenge and resist the recent retrenchment of its members by the management of Heritage Bank Plc.
A statement made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt on Wednesday signed by the union’s General Secretary, Comrade Sheik Mohammed said that the bank’s management flagrantly disregarded the directive of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment Chief Chris Ngige given in June 2016 to the effect that all financial institutions should desist from any indiscriminate sack of workers.
Mohammed said the union would ask the bank management to reverse the decision and recall the retrenched workers immediately because the bank did not discuss or dialogue with the leadership of the union representing the workers before laying off its members.
He said that the retrenchment negated the rules of industrial relations practice and the Labour Act to sack and pay-off workers without dialoguing with the union and reaching an agreement on the workers’ welfare and benefit.
He said that the union would find out if the workers have been paid off since the union leaders were not consulted before the retrenchment was carried out, the union will have to renegotiate the pay off given to the sacked workers or the union will take necessary actions to protect its members and their careers.
Also reacting to the retrenchment, the President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institute (ASSBIFI) Comrade (Mrs) Oyiakan Olasanoye said that the management of Heritage Bank discussed the sack issue with the union leaders in November 2016.
Olasanoye said that the union leadership signed an agreement with the bank management that only 300 workers will be retrenched stressing that the union had reliably discovered that the retrenchment affected over 400 workers.
She said that since the retrenchment was more, the union has directed the union’s in-house President to get the details on the number of retrenched workers before any action by the union’s leadership.
She said ASSBIFI would take necessary action within its power when full details are released on the actual sack members because there was an agreement reached between the union and the bank before the exercise.
However, The Tide was reliably informed by the bank’s management in Port Harcourt that all the retrenched workers have been adequately paid their entitlements before they were retrenched.
The source said that the bank carried out the retrenchment as part of its repositioning strategy within the financial sector having acquired the defunct Enterprise Bank in October 2014 for over N56 billion.
Meanwhile ,the leadership of NUBIFIE has reaffirmed its membership affiliation, to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC ) as provided for and ratified in the union’s constitution and therefore not an affiliate of the newly formed United Labour Congress (ULC).
The denial was made in a statement issued on Wednesday by the union’s National Administrative Council (NAC) Acting General Secretary Comrade Odiaka Nwanji.