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Polaris Bank loses Millions of Naira, as NUBIFIE shuts down operations over mass retrenchment. 


It was a huge financial loss yesterday, May 6, for Polaris Bank, as some aggrieved  members of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, NUBIFIE, shutdown operations of the bank, located at 3, Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, following retrenchement of over 40 staff of the bank.                                                                                                                       
SylvaNews gathered that over N50 million was lost in the over 6 hours siege of the head office, as no single customer, as well as staff was allowed to enter the bank, as the protest lasted.   
As early as 6am, some NUBIFIE members had arrived the venue of the protest with placards bearing some inscriptions like “Banking is not slavery, stop dehumanising workers”: “Mass retrenchment cannot grow the bank and “Polaris Bank management should stop the mass sack of workers”.                                                                                                                                     
Other inscriptions read thus, ”Respect our collective bargaining and rights of workers”: “Outsourcing must wear human face” and “Workers deserve better treatment”, among others placed on the bank’s  gate, which was under lock and key.                                                                                           
In a letter of sack dated May 31, 2023, addressed to Gift Onyeike and written by Catilas Resources Limited, an outsourcing company of the bank, the bank said it has withdrawn his  services, as an internal security guard of the bank, effective June 1, 2023.

The letter without any name of authorised signatory, also read in part, “You are hereby advised to handover all Polaris Bank Limited and Vendor properties e.g. 1D card, Lapel pin, token, call cards, among others in your care, effective May 31, 2023”.

It further read, “On our part, we want to thank you for the good working relationship over the period”.                                                                                         

Reacting, Onyike said, he had put in 20 years in the service of the bank and was sacked on June 1, 2023, without any disengagement allowance, disclosing that he has not been paid his one month salary in lieu of notice, which is N68,000. 

Describing the process of the sack as an unfair labour practice, hence the financial institution did not follow due process, even after consulting the management, the Union decried management’s alleged high-handedness, as well as inhuman treatment of workers. 

General Secretary, NUBIFIE, Comrade Sheik Mohammed said the management of the bank sacked more than 40 workers, mostly outsourced staff in total disregard of labour laws as well as collective bargaining, which is the right of workers in a unionized work environment.
“We insist that those sacked should be recalled and the union invited to discuss their redundancy package in compliance with the law.               
“Workers who  spent the better part of their lives in the institution have been sacked by someone, who was just appointed as Managing Director a few months ago, giving them a miserly one month salary in lieu of notice”, he said
Another affected worker, Olusomu Eyikogbe said he had worked for over 8 years and collected his own sack letter on June 1, 2023, as he is also yet to  recieve his one month salary in lieu of the notice.
SylvaNews made frantic efforts to get the reaction of the management, but to no avail, but a management staff, who came to work, but not allowwd inside disclosed that the  leadership of the Union had been invited to a round-table discussion by the management, assuring that those issues would be addressed during the meeting. 
“Given the cordial relationship that had existed between the bank and the union over years, we are of the opinion that any concern from either party can be resolved through round table”, the NUBIFIE Scribe stated. 
On the side of the bank, it urged the union thus, “In view of the above, we request for a meeting between the management team of the bank and a delegation of NUBIFIE today (Wednesday), June 7, 2023 by 10am to discuss outstaanding issues with the view of having a resolution while requesting you recall your members from our business locations”.
In a press statement issued and made available to SylvaNews, Polaris Bank said, it did not violate any law in a recent disengagement of some staff, which it said was done in line with the terms of the contract guiding their engagements
The Bank was reacting to a report of the picketing of its headquarters by NUBIFIE this morning by a section of the media.
The bank said it has engaged and will continue to engage the union to resolve any lingering labour matters.
It emphasized that a cordial relationship has existed between her and the union over the years and believes that concerns raised by either party can be effectively addressed through dialogue.
In a letter signed by the Group Head, Brand Management and Corporate Communication, Mr Nduneche Ezurike, the bank said it remains committed to fostering a harmonious working relationship while ensuring the well-being of its employees.
First Bank

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