By Dipo Olowookere
A meeting between representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Ecobank Nigeria over the latter’s non-renewal of the contract of its third party recruitment agencies has commenced in Lagos.
On Thursday, officials of NLC in collaboration with its affiliate, Nigeria Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institution Employees (NUBIFIE), had picketed the head office of Ecobank on Victoria Island over the issue.
They had accused the financial institution of not holding talks with the affected contract workers, who were laid off after the bank did not renew its deal with the agencies that recruited them.
The labour unions had claimed that the action of the lender had thrown some of their members into the labour market in this biting economy.
According to information gathered, the unions started a crucial meeting with Ecobank Nigeria and feelers indicated that it was encouraging.
Today, they are continuing with discussions and should let the public know outcome of the deliberations.
Ecobank Nigeria had said in a statement that it did not disengage its staff, but decided not to renew the contract of its third party recruitment agencies which expired recently and as such returned this category of personnel back to these agencies who are their employers.
The bank had maintained that its action was part its business strategy to invest in the employment of full time graduates and as over 300 graduates are currently undergoing training at the it’s state of the art Academy which was recently accredited by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), adding that they are to 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 by the Bank 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 to the Bank 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.
Ecobank further reiterated that it would continue 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.
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