By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ORGANISED Labour in the financial sector of the nationâ€™s economy has blamed perceived rising cases of frauds, robberies and other unethical practices in the banking sector to employers increasing penchant for employment of contract, casual and other forms of non-pensionable employments who see themselves as unwanted and have no stake in the sector.
Under the umbrella of Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), the body called on employers and management of banks to immediately regularise the employment of all casual workers in conformity with international rules on decent work agenda to save the financial sector.
Acting President of ASSBIFI, Comrade Sunday Salako, told Vanguard that the association had on several occasions condemned casualisation and contract staffing as indecent form of employment which is tantamount to slave labour.
This has led to high rate of fraud and robberies and various other unethical practices in the industry. â€œThe banks have been disengaging permanent staff and replacing them with casual and contract staff in areas they claim are not their core areas. What they do is that these casual and contract staff are paid a meagre flat salaries. Take for example, a casual or contract staff who is on a flat salary of N50,000. For a year even if he does not spend anything from the money,Â he can only have N600,000. If he is approached for unethical practice, like fraud or robbery and he is promised N5 million, he would readily partake,â€ he said.
Check in most of the robberies that have taken place in the banks, there is always an insider. These casual and contract workers do not see themselves as part of the bank, they not do have a stake inÂ the industry because of their peculiar employment. The only thing that interest them is how to make quick money before they get fired since they are just casual or contract staff. Those who have a stake and future in the bank hardly get themselves involved in all these things because of their investment and what they stand to benefit at the end of the day. They know that they would leave honourably and at the end with benefits after spending a good time with the bank. Hence we have continued to impress it on employers to immediately regularize the employment of all casual workers in conformity with international rules on decent work agenda.
We also condemn in strong term, the use of foul, abusive, unofficial or derogatory language by some employers in the industry in particular and on all workers in general.Â We call on all employers and their managements in general to henceforth embrace the culture of dignity of labour by treating all workers with deserved respect and politeness at all times.
We equally expresse dismay over the abandonment of the provisions of our collective agreement which allowed for union and workersâ€™ representatives to be members of all disciplinary committees.Â We are opposed to theÂ the current posture of management being the accuser, prosecutor and jury in matters concerning its members. We advise that if employers do not want to be charged with unfair hearing, they should henceforth allow workers representations at all disciplinary committees.â€