Nigeria’s Organised Labour yesterday, shut down the Lagos Head Office of Ecobank Plc, over its recent sack of over 1000 members of its junior employees.
This was even as it has promised to extend the picketing to all of the bank’s operations in Lagos today (Friday) and nationwide from Monday should the management fail to pay adequate severance packages to the sacked employees.
Thursday’s picketing commenced at about 7 am in the morning with members of Organised Labour cutting across all affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) blocking the main entrance of the bank’s premisis thereby preventing its operational vehicles from gaining entrance to offices. The unions action debarred customers and workers of the bank who came in after 7am from gaining entrance into the headquarters of the Pan African bank.
A staff of the bank who pleaded anonymity said the bank must have lost millions of naira due to yesterday picketing.
Meanwhile the disengaged workers had teamed up with the National Union of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFIE), at the picketing exercise by displying placards with inscriptions like “Ecobank pay N120,000 for 12 years services, Ecobank pay our entitlements, Ecobank worst employer of labour, Ecobank pay peanuts for workers service” among others.
The President of the union, Comrade Anthony Abakpa, who led the picketing initiaive said it became necessary to protect the interest of the workers who had put in valueable parts of their life to grow the bank were just being dismissed without due compensation.“We have made several attempts to discuss with the new Managing Director, but he never acknowledged any of our letters. One wonders how a worker who had put in 25 years would be paid N774,000, while 11 years got N336,000. Those that served six years were paid N96,000, five years service got N70,000 with staff who worked for four years getting N30,000.”
He said though the management of the union made overtures to the union to negotiate, the union would not negotiate with the management without the Managing Director who was reported to be in Côte de Voire.
Abakpa lamented that the former Managing Director who was an Ivorien had a good plan of absorbing the workers into mainstream employment, but the efforts were frustrated.