NLC shuts out Union Bank staff as picketing enters third day


Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) have vowed to continue to paralyse business activities at the Union Bank Plc until the bank agreed to their requests. They said this as the picketing of the bank entered its third day throughout Nigeria.

  The NLC officials stormed the bank's headquarters in Marina, Lagos, as early as 6 am., preventing workers from entering the building.

  They also chanted solidarity songs while the workers numbering about 500 waited endlessly outside, afraid of entering the building.

  The picketing of the bank nationwide followed the refusal of its management to recognise the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions in the bank.

  While the management insisted it would not recognise the association except it was properly registered with the trade union, the NLC said the bank had no statutory right not to recognise it.

  Reacting to the picketing, Mr Shonubi Adebisi, Executive Director Operation Information Technology Services, said that it was regrettable that efforts to resolve the issue with the NLC through dialogue had failed.

  'We served the NLC with a court injunction to stop it from picketing the bank, but it went ahead and stopped the bank from operating.

  'It is sad because Nigerians who work and do business in this environment are suffering because of the picketing which has not affected us alone,'' he said.

  Adebisi said that the NLC and the bank must reach a compromise rather than the labour body demanding that until they returned to status quo, the problem would not be solved.

  'Before now, we had a problem on seven issues but we resolved six and the seventh one was about to be handled before the picketing.

  'The management has solved the problem of promotion, salary harmonisation, converting outstanding leave to cash, new pay structure, percentage of loan and pension,' he said.

  However, the NLC President, Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, said the NLC would not hesitate to go on a nationwide strike if the bank refused to return to status quo.

  He denied that the NLC was served any court injunction stopping it from picketing the bank.