By Victor Ahiuma-Young
UMBRELLA body for senior staff in the nationâ€™s banking industry under the aegis of Association of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI, has petitioned the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, informing him that organised labour can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the nation because of ongoing mass retrenchments in the banks following alleged directives by the governor.
Acting President of ASSBIFI, Comrade Sunday Salako, at a press conference, yesterday, also has vowed to use all powers at its disposal, including foreign contacts to frustrate any force take over of the troubled banks and placed a caveat emptor on the banks
Addressing Labour correspondents on the ongoing sacks in the banks, Comrade Salako disclosed that management of Oceanic International Bank, which Monday sacked over 1000 of its employees, had entered into a dialogue with ASSBIFI, saying, however, the first meeting held yesterday, ended in deadlock.
In the petition dated Monday, December 21, 2009, and titled â€œRe:anti-labour CBN directives to banks can provoke industrial chaosâ€, lamented none response to earier correspondences to the CBNâ€™ governor, and said: â€œWe are seriously worried that situation report on a daily basis is certainly not helping matter as managements of some banks have been carrying out unlawful disengagement of our members.
According to these Banks, they are only obeying the directives of the CBN. Since the Governor appears too busy and not in a hurry to engage a strategic stakeholder like ASSBIFI in social dialogue to resolve this labour issue, we are by this letter informing Mr. Governor that our Association will no longer guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the sector.
“Going forward, we have advised, through a press statement, all customers/depositors of Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank, Union Bank,Â to make haste in rounding up transactions with them before we shut down these banks any moment from now”.