Bank workers threaten shutdown over casualisation

…Calls for intervention of stakeholders 

Workers in the financial sector have threatened to shut banks and other financial institutions across the country over increasing casualisation of workers in the sector.

They are also accusing employers of refusal to enter into renegotiation of the sector’s conditions of service, after the expiration of collective bargaining agreement, CBA, since 2007.

Meanwhile, the Senate has commenced moves to review the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) with a view to making it conform to current financial realities.

Speaking on Monday at the event to mark “World Decent Work Day”, President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks and Insurance and Financial Institution, ASSBIFI, Oyinkan Olasanoye, called for the intervention of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, before the financial sector is thrown into unprecedented industrial crisis.

Olasanoye said, “The statistics as not only frightening, but have grave implications for banking, especially given that this category of workers are denied basic rights and treated shabbily. As we have indicated in the past, despite awareness by most employees on ILO Conventions that deal with rights of workers, all manner of indecent treatments are still discernible in our various workplaces. While more demands are placed on workers, they simultaneously continue to face threats to decent pay, conditions of work, safety and outright job loss.”

According to her, the intervention of CBN, CIBN, NECA was required, not just to tackle casual/contractor staffing in the sector, but also address the issue of the sector’s CBA which had not been renewed since expiration in 2007, and already causing tension in the banking sector.

She informed that they had met with the ministry of Labour and employment, CIBN and others, but nothing had been achieved till date, declaring that the situation would force labour to mobilize members and shut down the sectors for the employers to do the needful.

Disclosing plans to review BOFIA, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani, said in a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna, that the planned review will be conducted in consultation with critical stakeholders in the banking and insurance sector.

He said, “No stone will be left unturned by the committee as it planned initiating interventions in respect of fiscal and monetary policies to enhance Nigeria’s economic growth and development.”



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