Bank workers warm up for nationwide strike

Posted by Sunday Ojeme | 16 October 2017 | 1,865 times

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Bank workers under the aegis of Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) have given notice to the Federal Government of their intention to down tools over the recent sack of some of their members.

An official of the association, who disclosed this on condition of anonymity, said the sack of 281 workers by one of the old generation banks, was not justified as it did not align with the Labour Act and Collective Agreement.

To drive home its resolve, the source said the association had forwarded a letter to the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, notifying it of the association’s intention to commence the industrial action beginning with the affected bank on October 24, before inviting other banks to participate.

According to the letter dated October 11, 2017, and referenced ANS/ORG/GO/YOS/338, which was obtained by our correspondent, the association noted that its decision followed previous notice already given to the bank on September 29, after several letters and meetings to enable both parties to resolve the impasse over the workers’ improper lay off.

According to the letter, “We will commence our action by calling on fellow Nigerians to make some withdrawals from their accounts with the bank to enable them to have enough provisions for the period of the industrial dispute. “Also, if there is no quick response, other banks will be called out on sympathy strike by the association.”

In the last one year, over 10,000 workers lost their jobs across all the banks in the country. A recent statistics released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that 8,663 workers lost their jobs in the first half of 2017. The data showed that an average of 360 people were sacked every week from January to June 2017.

The figures were higher in the first quarter and lower in the second. It was also revealed that while the 8,663 lost their jobs, more contract staff were employed during the period. In the first quarter of 2017, there were 174 executive staff, but the figure reduced to 161 in the second quarter. From 20,483 senior staff in the first quarter, the number dropped to 19,826 in the second quarter.

The drop was larger in the junior staff category where the number dropped to 33,783 in the second quarter from 36,202 in the first quarter. However, the number of contract staff increased from 20,237 in the first quarter to 21,837 in the second quarter. The job losses have continued despite warning by the Federal Government in 2016 that banks should desist from sacking their staff. (New Telegraph)


Source: News Express

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