Organised Labour has suspended its earlier threat to shut down the operation of Ecobank Nigeria nationwide due to amicable resolution reached with the bank at the weekend.
The two parties met on Friday at Ecobank head office and are expected to continue with the dialogue towards resolving the crisis.
The National Union of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) had on Thursday shut down the headquarters of the bank over the sack of over 1000 tellers without paying them severance package.
The President of NUBIFIE, Anthony Abakpa, told Daily Sun that the negotiations commenced at 11 a.m on Friday.
On how the parley went, he said: “Very good! I know we are going to get a good severance package for our members that has been disengaged by God’s grace.
“We thank you and your team members for the solidarity. From today, suspends pickets action with Ecobank.”
But the union warned that failure to reach meaningful discussion today (Monday) would mean calling upon the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, to lead the nationwide shutdown of the bank.
However, Ecobank management said in a statement that it did not disengage its staff, stressing that the bank decided not to renew the contract of its third party recruitment agencies, which expired recently, and, as such, returned this category of personnel to these agencies who are their employers.
The bank explained that it was part of its business strategy to invest in the employment of full time graduates as over 300 of them are currently undergoing training at the its Academy , recently accredited by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). It added that they would be absorbed into the system at the end of their training as permanent staff.
The statement pointed out that “as a demonstration of the bank’s concern and compassion for the affected personnel of our contractors, palliative measures were put in place to cushion the effect on them.
“ These include payment of contract cessation packages of over half a billion Naira, already paid through their employers, as well as opportunity given to those with requisite qualification to apply for permanent employment.”
It added that the bank also offered them the opportunity to become Xpress point agents of Ecobank as a way of further providing them entrepreneurial and financial empowerment.
The pan-African lender pledged “to align its people composition, development, recognition and rewards to position us as best practice service model in the industry, delivering superior customer service and experience across our network.”
The union, however, insisted that the disengaged staff are members of the union whose appointment cannot be terminated without due consultation with the union.