Re­trench­ment: NLC sus­pends pick­et­ing of banks

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Mustapha Suleiman

Re­lief came the way of Nige­rian banks as the Nige­ria Labour Congress (NLC), said it would no longer picket those that planned to re­trench work­ers.

Sev­eral banks, re­cently, dis­en­gaged about 3,500 work­ers, cit­ing the down­turn in the econ­omy as their rea­son.

The NLC had threat­ened to picket six banks that were on the verge of lay­ing off work­ers.

The NLC Pres­i­dent, Ayuba Wabba, an­nounced, Wed­nes­day in Abuja, the sus­pen­sion of the proposed pick­et­ing of six banks over mass sack of work­ers at a joint press con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the NLC, Nige­ria Em­ploy­ers’ Con­sul­ta­tive As­so­ci­a­tion (NECA) and some rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the af­fected banks.

The NLC had is­sued a 14-day ul­ti­ma­tum to six banks to re­call sacked work­ers or face a na­tion­wide in­dus­trial ac­tion. The banks are Fi­delity Bank, Diamond Bank, First City Mon­u­ment Bank, First Bank, Ecobank and Skye Bank.

Wabba said that the de­ci­sion to stop the ac­tion was se­quel to the pub­lic hear­ing or­gan­ised by the Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on Banks and Financial In­sti­tu­tions, where the Sen­ate asked the Min­istry of Labour and Employment to in­ter­vene in the mat­ter.

“We have come to an agree­ment that all of us would at­tend the tri­par­tite meet­ing that is being proposed by the min­istry, to look at aux­il­iary is­sues af­fect­ing the sec­tor,” Wabba said.

“We have also agreed as NLC, work­ing with our af­fil­i­ates, to sus­pend all forms of hos­til­ity, in­clud­ing the The or­gan­ised labour in Edo State has called on other states gover­nors across the coun­try to em­u­late Gover­nor Adams Osh­iom­hole on the is­sue of work­ers’ wel­fare.

A joint state­ment signed by the Chair­men of the Nige­ria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Com­rades Em­manuel Ademokun and Mar­shal Ohue re­spec­tively, pick­et­ing, place.

“We have also looked at other re­lated is­sues that in­clude non-union­i­sa­tion, is­sue of pro­tec­tion fees by some banks, among oth­ers. We have agreed mu­tu­ally that the is­sues will be dis­cussed under law at the tri­par­tite meet­ing being or­gan­ised by the min­istry and all of us have agreed to sub­ject our­selves to it.”

He said that all par­ties had agreed that the tri­par­tite meet­ing was nec­es­sary as it would take on board the in­ter­est of the work­ers as pro­vided by the law under Sec­tion 20 of the Trade Union Act.

He said that the law pro­vides a fo­rum for di­a­logue and con­sul­ta­tion be­fore any process would be con­cluded. “We have ob­served the chal­lenge, es­pe­cially the is­sue of the process, the pro­ce­dure and the pro­vi­sion of the law.” un­til the meet­ing takes de­scribed Osh­iom­hole as a pace set­ter who should be em­u­lated for in­creas­ing work­ers’ salary with­out agitation, es­pe­cially at a time when many state gover­nors could not pay their work­ers’ salaries.

Osh­iom­hole had dur­ing the Work­ers’ Day cel­e­bra­tion promised to in­crease the minimum wage in the state from 18,000 to N25, 000 which was ef­fected in the June 2016 salaries of work­ers in the state.

Wabba said that the Na­tional Union of Banks, In­sur­ance and Financial In­sti­tu­tions Em­ploy­ees (NUBIFIE) told the congress how far it had gone with its en­gage­ment with the af­fected banks.

Also speak­ing, the Di­rec­tor- Gen­eral of NECA, Mr Oluse­gun Oshi­nowo, called for di­a­logue as a way of re­solv­ing is­sues in the bank­ing and financial in­sti­tu­tions sec­tor.

“The fact is that in em­ployer and em­ploy­ees re­la­tion­ship, there will al­ways be is­sues, but the im­por­tant thing is that when there are is­sues, there should be a struc­ture and there should be an un­der­stand­ing among so­cial part­ners,” he said.

He thanked labour for ac­cept­ing to sub­ject the is­sue of re­trench­ment in banks to so­cial di­a­logue with a view to re­solv­ing of the prob­lem.

Gover­nor of Rivers State, Nye­som Wike, and NUPENG Pres­i­dent, Com­rade Igwe Ach­ese, dur­ing a cour­tesy call on the gover­nor in Port Har­court.

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