NUBIFE Pickets Polaris Bank for Unjust Disengagements, Violation of Labour Laws
The National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFE) on Tuesday staged a protest at the head office of Polaris Bank in Lagos over alleged violation of workers’ rights and disregard for labour laws.
The leaders and members of the union, while chanting solidarity songs, expressed their grievances to the management of the bank for laying off over 40 of its workers nationwide without being paid their accrued entitlement and allowances.
The General Secretary of NUBIFIE, Muhammed Sheikh, lamented that the unjust layoffs are a gross violation of workers’ right to a collectively bargained existing package which is also against labour laws.
“The new management came on board barely six months ago and instead of settling down to look at how to move the bank forward, they started sacking workers.
“You cannot have a worker dedicate the better part of his life having worked over 15 years for the progress of your company and then you wake up one morning and decide to terminate their employment giving them only one-month basic salary. That is completely wrong.”
He stressed that any employer, company or organisation which thinks that it can break the law guiding workers or violate due process as it pertains to Labour, the union will wade in to protect its members.
Sheikh revealed that the union got reliable information prior to the sacking and that it wrote severally to the management of the bank to desist from it or be mindful of due process if they are planning to sack, but they shunned the warning.
He stress that as a labour union its members’ rights as workers deserve to be protected at all costs and that NUBIFIE would continue to picket the bank together with the national body of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) until the issue is rectified.
“NLC is aware of what is going on, members will be joining us if there is no headway. Our civil society coalition partners are also aware, they are waiting in the wings to join us.”
Olusanmi Eiyitogbe one of the affected workers while expressing his disappointment said that the management gave no reason whatsoever for sacking them. He cried out that he could not even withdraw any money from the one-month salary in lieu of what the bank claimed to have paid.
The management of Polaris Bank in its response said it was ready to resolve the issues as it presented a letter signed by the bank’s Talent and Culture officer, Olarenwaju Oyekunle, and General Counsel, Segun Tawoju to the leadership of the union inviting them for dialogue.
The letter read: “Given the cordial relationship that had existed between the bank and the union over the years, we are of the opinion that any concern from either party can be resolved through the round table.
In view of the above, we request a meeting between the management team of the bank and a delegation of NUBIFIE on June 7, 2023, by 10.00 a.m. at our office to discuss outstanding issues with the view to having a resolution while requesting you recall your members from our business locations.”