By Afolabi Oyekunle.
Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSIBIFI) has once again called on the Management of Heritage Bank to respect and adhere to Labour standards in the unjust sacking of 30 Senior members of the bank.
Following the sacking of the workers who are members of the Association, ASSIBIFI has issued a 21days ultimatum to Heritage Bank to comply with laid procedures or face industrial action.
The Assistant Secretary General Babatunde Ige, in a statement expressed concern over the exploitations, intimidation, oppression, deprivation, and other unfair labor practices allegedly carried out by Heritage Bank PLC against innocent and vulnerable employees.
ASSIBIFI has temporarily suspended its planned actions to give the management an opportunity to resolve the matter amicably following the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Labour.
It has emerged that the management of Heritage Bank PLC, known for their neglect of workers’ concerns, failed to attend the scheduled meeting and requested a reschedule without providing any justifiable reasons.
“ASSBIFI has granted a 21-day ultimatum to the management, believing that this time frame is sufficient for Heritage Bank to review its position and reach a mutually satisfactory resolution, as ASSBIFI is genuinely interested in the progress of the Bank.
“In adherence to established rules and regulations and out of respect for the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the leadership of ASSBIFI has agreed to attend the rescheduled conciliation meeting.
“While we appreciate the intervention of the Ministry, we hope that Heritage Bank will respect Labour standards and adhere to due process to avoid any unnecessary workplace crisis,” the statement read.
Meanwhile speaking at the monthly Labour Writers Forum in his office in Alausa Ikeja, the National President of ASSIFI Comrade Olusoji Oluwole urged stakeholders to change their perspectives about unions. According to him, most organisations see the unions as confrontation rather than partners in development.
“Unions are development partners, provided the organisation respects the rights and privileges of those who work with them. They only become confrontational when organisations begin to take them for granted or begin to take laws into their own hands.”
He reiterated that ASSIFI will continue to look forward to such collaboration with employers for the mutual growth, development and productivity of organisations.
Speaking on national issues while fielding questions from Labour Writers on the mirage of challenges in the country Comrade Olusoji Oluwole noted with reservations, the heightening level of migration of Nigerians, especially experts and professionals, outside the country, urging the Federal Government to create conducive environment, as well as encourage industries through viable policies to grow to be able to stem the tide of the migration.
He listed some of the challenges facing industries which include multiple taxation, stiff regulations and poor infrastructure among others, as he called for the need to provide needed resources, capable of bringing back Nigerians from other countries of the world, disclosing that such migration was due to the challenging economic situations in the nation.
Beyond this, he advocated for the provision of better social services to be able to stabilize the standard of living of the people, thereby ensuring the total growth of the country.