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Mr, . Nnamdi OKONKWO
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The crisis between Fidelity Bank and its numerous Drivers nationwide reached another dimension on Tuesday as all drivers in all the Regional Offices nationwide staged peaceful protests for non-payments of their entitlements.
The bone of contention is the scrapping of Long Service Award, Gratuity, and Retirement benefits hitherto enjoined by their colleagues who retired under the former Managing Director, Mr. Reginald IHEJIAHI (GCFR).
The drivers made their grievances known in a peaceful protests at the Victoria Island Head Office of the bank Tuesday this week. Joined in the protests are all drivers in the Regional Offices nationwide.
A reliable source told us that conversion of staff from contract staff to core staff have also been scrapped. Many junior staff who upgraded themselves through part time studies and obtained relevant degrees have remained in same position for years hoping to be converted but their hopes were dashed when the MD/CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo told them conversion was no long possible as was the usual practice under the former MDs – Messrs. Nebolisa Arah and Reginald Ihejiahi (GCFR).
In the interview granted the press at the peaceful rally held at the head office of the bank on Kofo Abayomi Street Victoria Island, the leader of the group said;
“They have cancelled all the benefits for long service award for all the junior staff. If you get to 10 years you will receive N200,000. if you spent 15 years you will collect N400,000. if you get to 20 years you are entitled to N800,000 and when you get to 25 years you will receive a meritorious award and there is a special bonus for you running into millions.
They have cancelled everything because we are drivers. Now we are asking them to give us our entitlements as we deserve and pay gratuity, they say Drivers are not part of it. They are paying Long Service Awards they say Drivers are not part of it.
They have paid the first batch they say Drivers are not part of it. Now they have separated us in such a way that we are no longer relevant and we are asking them ‘what have we done to deserve this?’
They have sent delegates to go round bank wide and make sure that they hear from us and that we should say our grievances… We waited for them, they have gone to Abuja, and they categorically told Abuja Drivers that there is nothing for them. They went to Ibadan, they categorically told them there is nothing for them. They went to Port Harcourt, they told them you are serving if you are going there is nothing for them. We have wives, we have children, and we have dependants that are looking up to us….People that left since last year they have not been paid…”
“We are telling them now that if you no longer want us, settle us for the one that we have worked so that we would go. If you want us to continue no problem, if you want us to go we would go.”
“That is why we gather here to let the Management know that touring will not solve it. It is either they pay our money or they see the other side of junior workers”
In another development, the case of 12 core, loyal and dedicated staff of the bank is still pending at the National Industrial Court for hearing on September 22, 2017 for non-payment of their gratuities and entitlements after their retirements.
The Drivers have warned the Management of the bank to heed their requests by paying them their benefits before this crisis turn messy.
There is possibility that the Drivers will stage another peace protests next week if the Management remain adamant. © July 26, 2017

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