Following plans by the First Bank of Nigeria PLC to embark on a mass retrenchment of over one thousand members of its staff, the Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC], has charged the Bank’s management to immediately suspend such plans.
The Congress in a letter to the Bank by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said that it is disheartening that the mass retrenchment billed for the end of November 2019 targets workers whose ages range between 35 and 55 years, and who have put in an average of 5 years in the services of First Bank Nigeria PLC.
He further revealed that the workers being listed for what he termed ‘unjust, and inhumane’ treatment by the bank, have been categorized as “outsourced workers”.
According to him, “The information available to us indicates that First Bank of Nigeria PLC, by its plan to retrench over one thousand of its staff and without adequate and commensurate severance benefits, is in severe breach of the extant provisions in our labour laws.
“We also understand that the management of First Bank of Nigeria PLC has refused to enter into dialogue with National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), which is the workers’ representative trade union organization.
“We wish to remind the management of First Bank of Nigeria PLC that workers are not commodities to be used and tossed aside at will”.
The Congress demanded that the Bank’s management should ensure genuine engagement on this issue with her affiliate, NUBIFIE, which is the workers’ representative organization; and to also ensure adequate measures are taken, to re-assure workers of First Bank Nigeria PLC of the bank’s commitment to protect their rights at work.
“We wish to posit that if First Bank of Nigeria PLC fails to give due consideration to our demands, we would be left with no other option than to adopt time tested trade union measures to protect the interest and welfare of workers in your organization”, he said.