About 50 drivers recently sacked by the Fidelity Bank Plc on Monday barricaded the bank’s headquarters on Victoria Island, Lagos, to protest alleged non-payment of their severance packages.
The workers, who carried placards and chanted solidarity songs, said that since the bank retrenched them a month ago, efforts to make it to pay their entitlements failed.
One of them, Mr Samuel Ayuwa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the management of the bank sacked all drivers and was not willing to pay severance packages.
”Since Fidelity bank does not want us again, we want the management to pay our benefits. Some of us have worked for more than five years. It is our right to get our money,” Ayuwa said.
Another driver, Mr Bayo Adewale, said that dialogue between the management and the sacked drivers broke down because the management was not ready to pay the entitlements.Some other drivers also told NAN that they were not afraid of leaving the bank but needed their benefits.
When contacted, the General Secretary of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institution Employees (NUBIFIE), Mr Muhammed Sheikh, told NAN that the protesters were not members of the union.
According to Sheikh, efforts made by the organised labour to institute a workers’ union in the bank were resisted by the management.
He said that NUBIFIE would not be able to speak or negotiate on behalf of the workers since they were not members of the union.
Mrs Oyinkan Olasoye, President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Insitutions (ASSBIFI), also told NAN that Fidelity bank workers were not members of the union.
However, Mr Ejike Ndiulo, Head of Corporate Affairs of the bank, said that the management would soon resolve the conflict with the workers.