NIGERIA: Labour, allies to picket banks over unfair practices

ORGANISED labour in the nation’s financial sector, has said labour and its allies are perfecting plans to picket banks and other financial institutions for alleged unfair policies and practices especially refusal to allow union and retrenchment of workers without recourse to subsisting procedural agreement and best practice. National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, named two old generation banks and one new generation bank (names withheld) as well as insurance companies among the worst culprits.

The union advised the affected banks and other financial institutions to jettison their perceived unfair labour practices and embrace decent employment policies and positive industrial relations to save the companies from the wrath of organized labour.

President of the union, Danjuma Musa, who spoke in Lagos, said the union had notified the affected banks of the impending actions, saying one of them was given a 14-day ultimatum that expired on April 2, 2013 and said the bank had not responded.

According to him, the union has been having a number of challenges confronting  it and noted that some of the challenges were government policy induced consequences, while others were cumulative effects of inefficient supervision by regulatory authorities thus, encouraging or creating enabling environment for corporate miss-governance and other impunities by industry operators.

“In specific terms, denial of workers their rights to freedom of association and to unionism, continuous arbitrary retrenchment of workers without recourse to collective agreement and consultation with the union, deliberate subversion of reconstitution of the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC) by withholding support to Nigeria Employers Association of Banks, Insurance and Allied Institution (NEABIAI) an umbrella organization for Employers in the Industry, exerting undue pressure on workers’ to meet-up with unrealistic deposit drive target, in the process and in some cases rendering or exposing workers to abuse and dehumanization with the attendant psychological trauma, have all become the hallmark of management practices in trying to achieve their corporate goals.

“The understanding the union has always displayed in the face of these challenges and more, has unfortunately emboldened various management to embark on various forms of unpopular policies against workers,” he said.

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