NLC plans assault on Diamond Bank over workers’ sack
LAGOS – Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is planning a massive assault on Diamond Bank Plc, over alleged sack of workers including officials of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, without due process as well as without paying their entitlements.
The management of Diamond and leaders of NUBIFIE have been engaged in a running battle over the sack of about 100 workers including all the union officers in the bank since June.
Earlier in July, NUBIFIE, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, NLC and civil society allies picketed the banks for about two days before Labour Minister, Chief Emeka Wogu, intervened and invited the parties including ASSBIFI to a meeting.
When the problem started, the bank was said to have taken the matter to Abuja Division of the National Industrial Court, NIC, which was said to have referred the case to the Lagos division since both the head office of the bank and headquarters of the unions are in Lagos.
It was gathered that the court had earlier advised the bank against the termination of the appointments of the workers without due process.
Similarly, the Lagos office of the Federal Ministry of Labour was also said to have advised the bank against the sack without due process to no avail.
However, during the picketing, the bank was said to have gone back to the NIC for protection.
It was gathered that the court at its recent sitting adjourned the case till September, but this seems not have gone down well with labour leaders.
Their grouse is that the sacked workers have been out on the street for about two months now without anything and by September, it will be over three months, meaning the workers be left in the cold without job and benefits for such long time.
As an affiliate of NLC, NUBIFIE was said to have reported its challenge to the leadership of NLC.
Vanguard gathered that NLC has already taken over the matter and is planning to bring its weight to bear to ensure that the workers get justice.
Vanguard gathered that leaders of NLC consider the action of the bank as an attack on labour and are said to be planning to use the bank to sound a note of warning to others in the industry that the era of management impunity is over.
President of NLC, Abdulwaheed Omar, while addressing affiliates and state councils last week, at Rain School in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said congress would meet in the next two weeks to take decisive action against Diamond Bank.He advised all affiliates and state councils to be on the alert and get ready for a massive action against Diamond Bank to ensure that the sacked workers were recalled.
Meanwhile, efforts by the Labour Ministry to resolve the issue has hit a brick wall as only NUBIFIE and ASSBIFI have been attending meetings called by the ministry.
It was gathered that the management of the bank is of the opinion that there is no need to attend such meetings since the matter is before the NIC.
Meantime, ASSIBFI has announced that its radio station, christened ASSBIFI Labour Radio will hit the air wave before the end of the year.