After a meeting that lasted till Friday night last week, the embattled workers of Union Bank Plc and the new management headed by Emeka Emuwa, are still seeking the best ways to resolve their nagging differences, BusinessWorld can authoritatively report. The bank which has achieved relative peace in the last eight months, following the exit of Funke Osibodu, may have been running into a brick-wall with its new management which had promised to apply constructive engagement in all affairs of the bank.
Our investigations revealed that the bank’s management had few weeks ago subjected all its staff to a skill test, which it said will assist the new management to harmonise the strength of all workers so as to place each of them on the appropriate duties. This directive was quickly rebuffed by the bank’s staff, who insisted that the management must consult their files which have details of their skills and trainings attained over the years, as a guide for any decision in relation with any new function they want to engage any staff. The response, according to our very competent sources, did not impress the management who sidelined the workers decision and went on to administer the test on some of the staff members.
Further investigations revealed that the union did not take the bank’s action in good taste as they warned that management should not victimise those who opted out in line with workers union position. The workers went further to issue a warning to the new management, claiming breach of collective agreement and threatening to react in their usual manner. It was at this juncture that the bank’s management was forced to arrange a meeting between it and the workers union executive last Friday.
Though the bank’s management may have tactfully withdrawn its threat, it was not happy that a lot of the workers refused to seat for the test as it commended those that sat for it by indicating that their performance has given them a fair appraisal of the work-force. According to the workers,”there was no tangible thing that emerged from the meeting except the fact that the management noted that nobody will be punished for not writing the test. But it is obvious that the management was not happy with us. Apart from this issue, there are other unresolved issues still pending, which the management has been avoiding, even when we have been urging them to have them discussed. Such issues include some redundancy benefits and some doubtful decisions taken in the past.”
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