The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has issued a threat to mobilize its affiliate trade unions and workers to picket the head office of Heritage Bank due to alleged wrongful termination and the failure to settle severance benefits for more than 30 former employees.
During a press conference, Olusoji Oluwole, the National President of ASSBIFI, expressed concern about unfair labour practices towards the bank’s employees and the potential impact on the financial security of both affiliated unions’ members and Nigerians who have accounts and savings with the bank.
Allegations of unfair labor practices
Oluwole alleged that since the new management took over, there have been numerous unfair labour practices against vulnerable workers, including the unceremonious dismissal of 30 workers, including an ASSBIFI principal national officer, in violation of labour laws and agreements.
He claimed that despite the union’s efforts to seek justice for the workers through negotiation and dialogue, the bank terminated their employment without following due process and failed to provide documentation of severance benefits paid.
Oluwole emphasized that these employees had dedicated years of service to the bank, ranging from five to 25 years, and criticized the bank for leaving them without any compensation, calling it “exploitation and injustice of the worst order.”
According to him,
“This action is an outright violation of Section 20 of the Labour Act, Cap L1, LFN 2004, the ASSBIFI industry-wide collective agreement, and the ILO Convention 158 on Termination of Employment.”
“ASSBIFI shall not hesitate to deploy all its networks and contracts to mobilize affiliate trade unions and Nigerian workers towards protecting the rights and privileges of our members in this institution,” he added.