Fidelity Bank Plc has affirmed that it did not fire any drivers in its employment without adequate compensation – and so there is absolutely no reason to warrant a planned picketing of the bank.
Fidelity Bank explained that the drivers in question were not its staff members but were contract staff who were withdrawn by their parent company – contrary to the concocted and misleading allegations that they were staff members of the bank who were laid off without adequate compensation.
Fidelity Bank stressed that although the drivers were not its bona fide staff members, it still went out of its way to make a gracious gesture of making some “ex-gratia payments” to the drivers, a situation which they were now exploiting to make unreasonable demands and threaten to picket the bank.
In a statement it issued in Abuja yesterday, Fidelity Bank said:
“Our attention has been drawn to the planned picketing of Fidelity Bank over the alleged sacking of drivers without adequate compensation. This allegation is untrue and was concocted to mislead the Advocate for People’s Human Rights and Justice in particular and the public in general”.
“Fidelity Bank enjoys the services of drivers provided by a vendor, FSL Limited. Such drivers are staff of FSL and may be recalled or reassigned by FSL from time to time. Due to operational realignment and increased automation of our processes, there was a considerable reduction in the number of cars previously required for our business. Consequently we had to return 15 drivers in the Abuja area to their employer, FSL Limited, after several engagements/sensitization and search for possible alternative placements”.
“Even though Fidelity Bank had no contractual obligations, it considered the good relationship with FSL and the number of years of service of the affected drivers and magnanimously decided to make ex-gratia payments to the drivers, a reasonable amount for each year of service. This payment, made in good faith, is now being exploited by the drivers to make additional and unreasonable demands for more, with the threat to picket the bank and disrupt services to its teeming customers.”
“Fidelity Bank is a law abiding institution, operating in Nigeria in the interest of the banking public. Whilst we are not against the rights of people to constituted assembly, this action is unwarranted and obviously misdirected. We urge the relevant authorities, including the Nigerian Police Force to note this threat to the conduct of our lawful business, just as we urge the affected drivers to engage FSL Limited for whatever grievances they may have.”
The statement was signed by Mr Charles Aigbe, the Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, of Fidelity Bank.
www.sojworld.com (c) July 25, 2017.