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FG goes tough, orders banks to recall sacked workers

By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Oscarline Onwuemenyi
LAGOS—THE Federal Government, yesterday, directed banks which recently sacked thousands of employees without due consultation with labour unions to recall those affected and consult with the trade unions.

The decision was taken at yesterday’s meeting of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, with representatives of labour unions and the affected banks including the chief executives of both Oceanic International Bank and Intercontinental Bank.

Also in attendance were a deputy governor, corporate services  of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr.  Suleiman Barau, along with two other top officials of CBN.

Labour Minister, Prince Kayode who warned that on no account should employers retrench workers without following due process, promised to send a circular to the banks reminding them of the need to discuss and reach agreement with organized labour before such retrenchments are carried out to avoid unnecessary tension in the sector.

The position of the minister is in consonance with Convention 98 of the International Labour Organisation ( ILO) on Collective Bargaining which Nigeria has ratified. Until yesterday’s meeting, the organized labour had planned to picket and disrupt operations of the  banks over the ongoing mass sack of workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and its National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees (NUBIFIE), had in statements, condemned both the alleged directive by CBN that banks should sack 30 percent of their employees, noting that it considered banks implementation of the directives as unfair, unjustifiable and an anti-workers policy.

Speaking with Vanguard on the outcome of the meeting, Comrade Adeshina Lasisi, said the meeting expressed disgust over the refusal of chief executives of other banks to attend and resolved that the minister would re-invite them for another meeting immediately.


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