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Union Bank: NLC accuses Labour Ministry of taking side…….As leaders meet today over dispute

As leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, meet today in Abuja to deliberate on appropriate measures to confront the management of Union Bank of Nigeria, UBN, Plc, over its recent withdrawal of recognition of the bank’s senior staff umbrella body, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, among others grievances, Congress has accused the Ministry of Labour and Productivity of taking side on the matter.
President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, in a statement, argued that at a meeting called by the Ministry on 28, to discuss the matter, the ministry  misdirected itself by sidetracking the issue  and chose to address an intra union dispute which is a matter pending at the Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP.
According to the statement: “Unfortunately, the Federal Ministry Of Labour which on January 28, 2011 convened a meeting on the “Withdrawal of union recognition” misdirected itself by sidetracking the issue  and chose to address an intra union dispute which is a matter pending at the Industrial Arbitration Panel. If the Union Bank management does not stop it belligerence and the Labour Ministry persists in  ignoring the primary issues at stake, the NLC will not be obliged to attend further meetings on the issue.”
On today’s meeting of NLC’s Central Working Committee, CWC, Comrade Omar said  it is to discuss how to deal with the Management of Union Bank’s relentless attacks on workers rights and welfare, and the persistent victimisation of labour leaders in the bank. He disclosed that members of NLC across the country had been placed on the alert awaiting the CWC decision, saying “NLC is aware of the fact that the Osibodu-led Union Bank management is a bird of passage that should end its flight in August 2011, and that in contrast, the staff of the bank have permanent interests in ensuring its survival, hence NLC’s relentless pursuit of peaceful means of resolving all industrial disputes. But it appears that the management has mistaken  the lurking of the Congress for weakness. We hope that the Union Bank management will not find out too late that its abuse of the arbitration process, misuse of the Ministry of Labour, waste of the bank’s precious resources on needless legal fees and avoidable shuttles to Abuja, and strong arm tactics, will only complicate simple industrial relations matters.”
“Workers are to await the directives of the Congress Central Working Committee (CWC) which has been summoned for Thursday 4th February, 2011 to deliberate on appropriate measures to take in the face of the relentless attacks on workers rights and welfare, and the persistent victimisation of Labour Leaders in the bank.”
The management which has failed to implement many of the agreements reached with the two bank unions on August 30,2010 had illegally  claimed to proscribe the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) in violation of Section 40 of the country’s constitution, the Trade Unions Act, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 87 on the  Freedom of Association, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
“The NLC had drawn the management’s attention to these blatant violations of national and international laws and conventions, and given the Union Bank management seven work days to return to the path of legality. Rather than listen to wise counsel, the Union Bank management decided to further violate the workers rights by sacking thirteen  union activists including the Secretary of the Senior Staff Union, and dispersing across the country,  the CWC members of the union and its Zonal officers in  a punitive transfer gambit. The Union Bank management went on to seize the union offices, putting them under the guard of armed anti-crime policemen. In the process, it also confiscated union property and files and seized the union dues staff had paid. The position  of the NLC is that, not being either a court of competent  jurisdiction nor the National Assembly that has the constitutional powers to make laws, the management of Union Bank has no powers whatsoever to declare a legally registered trade union, illegal.”
File- Omar     January 31, 2011

AS leaders of Nigeria La bour Congress, NLC, meet today in Abuja to deliberate on appropriate measures to confront the management of Union Bank of Nigeria, UBN, Plc, over its recent withdrawal of recognition of the bank’s senior staff umbrella body, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, among others grievances, Congress has accused the Ministry of Labour and Productivity of taking side on the matter.President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, in a statement, argued that at a meeting called by the Ministry on 28, to discuss the matter, the ministry  misdirected itself by sidetracking the issue  and chose to address an intra union dispute which is a matter pending at the Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP.According to the statement: “Unfortunately, the Federal Ministry Of Labour which on January 28, 2011 convened a meeting on the “Withdrawal of union recognition” misdirected itself by sidetracking the issue  and chose to address an intra union dispute which is a matter pending at the Industrial Arbitration Panel. If the Union Bank management does not stop it belligerence and the Labour Ministry persists in  ignoring the primary issues at stake, the NLC will not be obliged to attend further meetings on the issue.”On today’s meeting of NLC’s Central Working Committee, CWC, Comrade Omar said  it is to discuss how to deal with the Management of Union Bank’s relentless attacks on workers rights and welfare, and the persistent victimisation of labour leaders in the bank. He disclosed that members of NLC across the country had been placed on the alert awaiting the CWC decision, saying “NLC is aware of the fact that the Osibodu-led Union Bank management is a bird of passage that should end its flight in August 2011, and that in contrast, the staff of the bank have permanent interests in ensuring its survival, hence NLC’s relentless pursuit of peaceful means of resolving all industrial disputes. But it appears that the management has mistaken  the lurking of the Congress for weakness. We hope that the Union Bank management will not find out too late that its abuse of the arbitration process, misuse of the Ministry of Labour, waste of the bank’s precious resources on needless legal fees and avoidable shuttles to Abuja, and strong arm tactics, will only complicate simple industrial relations matters.”“Workers are to await the directives of the Congress Central Working Committee (CWC) which has been summoned for Thursday 4th February, 2011 to deliberate on appropriate measures to take in the face of the relentless attacks on workers rights and welfare, and the persistent victimisation of Labour Leaders in the bank.”
The management which has failed to implement many of the agreements reached with the two bank unions on August 30,2010 had illegally  claimed to proscribe the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) in violation of Section 40 of the country’s constitution, the Trade Unions Act, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 87 on the  Freedom of Association, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”“The NLC had drawn the management’s attention to these blatant violations of national and international laws and conventions, and given the Union Bank management seven work days to return to the path of legality. Rather than listen to wise counsel, the Union Bank management decided to further violate the workers rights by sacking thirteen  union activists including the Secretary of the Senior Staff Union, and dispersing across the country,  the CWC members of the union and its Zonal officers in  a punitive transfer gambit. The Union Bank management went on to seize the union offices, putting them under the guard of armed anti-crime policemen. In the process, it also confiscated union property and files and seized the union dues staff had paid. The position  of the NLC is that, not being either a court of competent  jurisdiction nor the National Assembly that has the constitutional powers to make laws, the management of Union Bank has no powers whatsoever to declare a legally registered trade union, illegal.”


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