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Customers Panic As Labour Union Shuts Down Heritage Bank Headquarters

Heritage Bank

Business activities at the headquarters of Heritage Bank on Victoria Island, Lagos, have been disrupted by officials of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE).

The group stormed the head office of the financial institution to shut it down over the decision of the bank’s management to lay off about 1,000 employees.

Organised Labour and the Heritage Bank Plc are in a fresh battle over perceived wrongful sack of workers without benefits.

Last October, it was between the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI and Heritage Bank PLC, over un-procedural sack of members.

This time around it is between the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, Heritage Bank over alleged wrongful disengagement and refusal to settle severance benefits of about 1000 exited workers.

In fact, leaders of NUBIFIE and other members last week laid siege to the Victoria Island Headquarters of the bank demanding justice for the affected workers.

They chanted solidarity songs and expressed dissatisfaction over the sack of about 1,000 workers of the bank.

Some of placards displayed during the picketing of the bank’s head office read, “CBN call Heritage Bank to order”, N90,000 benefits for 15 years service is dehumanizing “, Banking is not slavery, stop dehumanising workers,” “Stop your anti-union policy.

They demanded that the affected workers be well compensated.

Addressing the picketers President of NUBIFIE, Anthony Abakpa said despite the union’s efforts to seek justice for the workers through negotiation and dialogue, the bank terminated their employment without following due process and failed to provide documentation of paid severance benefits.

Abakpa emphasized that these employees had dedicated years of service to the bank, ranging from 14 to 18 years, and criticized the bank for leaving them without any compensation, calling it “exploitation and injustice of the worst order.

“The bank paid stipend of N90, 000 for a worker that have served them for more than l5 year. This is a criminal act and we cannot take it any longer. We will continue with these activities until our demand is met.”

The General Secretary of the union Sheikh Mohammed on his part, said the picketing was based on the wrongful retrenchment of workers without following due process by the management.

He said the bank refused to settle severance benefits of the sacked members of the NUBIFIE after disengaging them.

“We shall not hesitate to deploy all its networks and contacts to mobilise affiliate trade unions and Nigerian workers towards protecting the rights and privileges of our members in this institution”, he said.

Responding, the Head of human Resources of the bank, Mother Dan Egwu said all the severance benefits and pension of the affected workers have been paid through the Service Providers.

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