BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
LAGOS —THE management of Mainstreet Bank Plc, formerly Afribank Plc, Friday, sacked no fewer than 800 workers despite the Federal Government’s directive to the management of the bank and organised labour to maintain status quo pending resolution of labour issues between the management and labour.
It was gathered that the sack came few days after the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity at a meeting in Abuja with the organised labour and management of the bank on the outstanding gratuity of staff of the defunct Afribank Nigeria Plc.
Meanwhile, organised labour, yesterday, asked the management of the bank to immediately reverse the termination or labour and its allies would shut down its operations nationwide, describing the management’s action as illegal and unprocedural.
Vanguard gathered that of the 800 affected staff, over 650 were members of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, affiliated to the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, while the rest were members of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees, NUBIFIE, affiliated to Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.
Vanguard gathered that the management just locked the affected workers out of the bank’s network, denied them access to their offices and asked them to wait for their termination letters through their email boxes.
Labour demands immediate reversal
Organised labour described the management’s action as unprocedural, illegal, and anti-labour, demanding immediate reversal or all the bank’s operations nationwide would be shut by labour and its allies.
At a briefing, yesterday, Secretary-General of TUC, Chief John Kolawole, said: “The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) views this act of Management of Mainstreet Bank Ltd as the height of provocation and lawlessness which is condemnable. Consequently, TUC unequivocally states and demands the reversal of these terminations and other anti-labour acts immediately, failing which TUC will mobilise all its affiliates, allies and resources to shut down completely the operations of the bank nationwide.”
He added “We are therefore appealing to all well-meaning Nigerians, Hon. Minister of Labour and Productivity, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Director-General, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Cooperation (NDIC), The Managing Director, Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON), Acting Inspector General of Police to prevail on the Management of the Bank before the bubble bursts.”