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Labour

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.

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Labour Lauds Rivers Assembly Over Power Devolution

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The organised labour in Rivers State has commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for backing power devolution in the country.
Speaking to The Tide, the chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Beatrice Itubo explained that the decision of the members of the assembly is a step in the right direction and good for the unity and stability of the country.
Itubo added that the lawmakers should call for contributions and input of the key stakeholders before passing into law several bills in the House.
She stressed that allowing critical stakeholders to make input would strengthen the tenets of democracy in the state and indeed Nigeria as majority of the people would better appreciate the bills through dissemination from the stakeholders.
She enjoined the Assembly to reexamine the issue of the local government autonomy proposed by both chambers of the National Assembly, stressing that the congress strongly believe that granting autonomy to the local government councils in Nigeria would strengthen and deepen democracy in the country.
The NLC boss added that the organised labour would continue to mobilize its members to support the assembly to perform its constitutional legislative duties in the state.
She further explained that labour in the state is prepared to partner the assembly in its determination to address the plight of the workers in the state.
She added that the organised labour would continue to commend the state government in its efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

 

Philip Okparaji

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Labour

Ex-NLC Boss Tasks FG On Minimum Wage

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A former President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Abdulwaheed Omar has urged the Federal Government to always implement the law on regular review of the national minimum wage to promote national growth.
Omar gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja last Monday.
He said that the call for government to tackle the issue about minimum wage review had become important because of the delay in the implementation of the law.
According to him, the national minimum wage law prohibits employers from hiring workers for less than a given hourly, daily or monthly take home pay.
“The law was established to address issues faced by workers, I think the cause for review of the national minimum is welcomed; it is just that it is almost belated.
“The issue of minimum wage is an aspect of our law; it is now part of our law in Nigeria, so I did not even expect that it will take much time.
“In the first place, the law provides that the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years; the five years elapsed since 2015.
“So, I had expected that that very year government should have set up a tripartite committee then.
“It is not something that government should wait until NLC threatens to embark on strike before it sets up committee, it is about the law that should be respected,” Omar said.
He said although government had promised to review the national minimum wage by the third quarter of the year, it should put measures in place to sustain such and ensure effective implementation.
He said the N18, 000 minimum wage was long overdue for review and urged government to act promptly to improve the economic well-being of workers.

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PenCom Recovers N1.34bn Pension

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The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has recovered pension contributions and interest totalling N1.34billion from defaulting employers during the third quarter of 2017.
The Commission in its 2017 third quarter report posted on its website said it used 55 consultants as recovery agents to get back the outstanding pension contributions and penalties from the defaulting employers.
PenCom said the affected employers were issued with appropriate notice to remit the outstanding pension contributions.
“During the quarter, the sum of N1.34 billion was recovered, this brings the total recoveries made since inception of the Recovery Agents’ activities in 2012 to N13.58 billion,” it stated.
On Pension contributions within the period, it indicates that the total monthly pension contribution by contributors from the public and private sectors into their Retirement Saving Accounts (RSA) was N4.38 trillion.
This, it said showed an increase of N135.22 billion representing 3.18 per cent over the total contributions as at the end of the previous quarter.
According to the report, the aggregate total contribution shows that the public sector contributed 51.34 per cent, while the private sector contributed the remaining 48.64 per cent.
It, however, pointed out that during the quarter under review; the public sector contributed 40.87 per cent of the total contributions received while the private sector contributed 59.13 per cent.
It further revealed that the aggregate total pension contribution of the private sector increased from N2.05 trillion as at second quarter of 2017 to N2.13 trillion as at third quarter of 2017, representing a growth of 3.89 per cent.
Also, the aggregate total pension contribution by the public sector grew by 2.52 per cent from N2.20 trillion to N2.25 trillion over the same period.
The statement noted that the commission continued the ongoing refund of contributions made by military and other security service agencies personnel exempted from the contributory pension scheme.
It added that during the quarter under review, the department responsible for military pensions processed 254 applications for the refund.
PenCom said N39.83 million was refunded to the contributors while the sum of N127.13 million, representing contributions made by the Federal Government on their behalf was returned to the contributory pension account.
The statement also indicated that 27 state governments have enacted laws to implement the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) as at the third quarter of 2017, while eight states were currently in the process of implementing the CPS law.
The report revealed that Yobe was, however, yet to commence the process of enacting a law on the CPS.

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