Lawyers plan picket of Fidelity Bank over unlawful dismissal

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Human rights lawyers under the umbrella of Advocate for Peoples’ Rights and Justice have put the authorities of Fidelity Bank Plc on notice over their planned picket of the bank for sacking drivers with First School Leaving Certificates in its employment without adequate compensation.
In a protest notice dated July 20, 2017 which the Fidelity Bank management received, the group’s Legal Officer, Mr. Ugonna Onyejekwe, demanded the payment of the sacked workers’ entitlements with¬in seven days from the date of the receipt of the protest letter.
In the letter, which the lawyers addressed to the bank’s Managing Director, they decried the exploitation of the affected workers and demanded adequate compensation and severance package for the bank’s security per¬sonnel and drivers.
While drawing the attention of the Director-Gener¬al of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP) to the planned pick¬eting of all Fidelity Bank branches in the country, the group said it would mobi¬lise for the exercise on July 25, 2017, should the manage¬ment fail to comply with its de¬mands as stated in the protest letter.
The notice of protest read in part: “In pursuant of the letter written to you dated 1st June 2017, demanding for the immediate payment of one Ezepue Levi Chinedu and oth¬ers, the report that reached us stated that you have paid the said Levi his entitlements. We acknowledge this as lauda¬ble and in line with the per¬ceived reputation of your or¬ganisation.
“However, our organisation is vehemently opposed and we resist any attempt by your bank to lay off thousands of your staff under the head¬ing of ‘FSL Drivers’ who have been in your service for sev¬eral years without adequate compensation in terms of severance package and var¬ious allowances which they are entitled to under com¬mon law.
“While we cannot deter¬mine your human resource management as regards em¬ployment of staff, we are op¬posed to organisational exploitation of staff members which undermines the rights of the individuals and further de¬prives them of their econom¬ic and social rights.
“Your bank’s action in lay¬ing-off the FSL Drivers with¬out adequate compensation for their years of service is exploit-ative and amounts to institutional enslavement of persons.
“Consequently, we are de¬manding for adequate com¬pensation for all the FSL Driv¬ers whom the organisation has laid off to enable them cater for their immediate and family needs within our social milieu.
“Therefore, we are request¬ing for the payment of com-pensation within your bank’s gratuity scheme to all the FSL Drivers within seven days of receipt of this letter.
“Take notice that we shall coordinate the staff members to a nationwide protest begin¬ning from 25 July 2017, should you fail, refuse or neglect to honour this demand.”

Culled from: Authority News. © July 21, 2017.

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