Operations of one of Nigeria’s oldest banks, First Bank Nigeria may be disrupted from today (Thursday) if it goes ahead with an alleged plan to retrench about 1000 of its works force.
The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) has vowed to shut down its operations nationwide, if the plan materializes.
The union gave the warning on Wednesday, directing its members not to accept any disengagement letters from the bank without authorisation by it.
President of the Union, Anthony Abakpa, gave the warning in an interview with Daily Sun, adding that 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 negotiating with the union,” he said.
According to Abakpa, the action of the bank contravenes the extant labour laws in the country, insisting that NUBIFIE would resist the bank’s action and would shut down all its operations nationwide.
He further noted that the union would force the bank to respect labour laws, by adhering to laid down guidelines to negotiate good severance packages before sacking workers.
“We believe in dialogue and collective bargaining agreement. Any action alien to labour law will be unacceptable because we will not support plans that are not in the interest of workers,” he said.
Continuing, the union president explained that NUBIFIE has already alerted the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Ministry of Labour and Employment on the bank’s plan and the actions it would be taking to counter the planned sack.
He said: “We’ve 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 consider this unacceptable, especially as the union was not carried along.”
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