Members of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) on Thursday morning picketed the headquarters of Ecobank PLC on Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island in Lagos over alleged non-payment of severance allowance to over 900 staff who were sacked by the bank recently.
The activity of the union has restricted access into the bank’s headquarters, just as the protesters condoned off its main entrance gate.
Findings revealed that over 900 members of staff were relieved by the bank last week and replaced with the same number almost immediately.
In a interview with newsmen, the National President of NUBIFIE, Comrade Anthony Abakpa, said Ecobank management has taking the union for granted.
Abakpa said: “Last week Friday, they sacked 800 staff and another 100 on Monday; people who have served several years, soaked their blood into the profitability of the bank and at the tail end of the whole thing, the man from nowhere, do away with our people without recourse to the union.
“It is abnormal and we cannot take it. We are not saying that you have to engage them by force but the numbers of years they have served, pay them their severance allowance to enable them go about their normal business.”
He likened the incident to “someone enslaving us in our country.”
He said Ecobank is wide spread across Africa, saying it cannot try the same treatments in neighbouring Ghana, Togo or Niger Republic.
“We have brought this before the public domain to let them know that it will no longer be business as usual. The only thing that can solve this problem is for them to discuss with us. Tell us the way out and tell us how they are going to pay the severance benefits.
“We have started at the headquarters today and we will take these to our zonal councils. We already have the approval of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC). We are going to shutdown all their branches across the country,” he added.