Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has dragged aggrieved former staff who retired from the bank between 2006 and 2008 before a National Industrial Court in Lagos, seeking an interim injunction to stop them from carrying out any activity capable of paralyzing its banking activities.
In a charge marked as Suit No. NIC/LA/140/2012, filed by its lawyer, Yomi Adeniran, the Claimant (Union Bank of Nigeria Plc) stated that former members of its staff were paid all their entitlements and other benefits, including their gratuities at the time they left the service of the Claimant.
The bank noted that at the moment, the Respondents have given notice to the Claimant that all the Claimant’s branches nationwide would be picketed if their demands were not met by the Claimant, saying “the threat by the Respondents would definitely paralyze all the commercial activities of the Claimant nationwide and lead to a colossal loss on the part of the Claimant.”
Respondents in the suit were Mr. Victor Adefisan, Mr. Samson Nnabuchi, Mr. J. N. Onuoha (sued on their behalf and as representatives of all members of the aggrieved retired Union Bank of Nigeria Plc staff 2006-2008), Registered Trustees of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, including Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
Adeniran informed the Court that the third Respondent (Onuoha) is yet to be served due to double addresses used by the third Respondent. He subsequently urged the Court to grant leave to the Claimant applicant to be served by substituted means, through courier, and such service to be deemed as proper service.
The Claimant stated that on 29 March, 2012 a letter signed by the 1st to 3rd Respondents was received, demanding that an alleged outstanding gratuity should be paid to some former members of staff of the Claimant referred to as “Aggrieved Retired Union Bank of Nigeria Plc Staff 2006-2008”.
According to the Claimant, the Respondents stated in their letter that they would resort to “do or die picketing” in the entire Claimant’s branches nationwide thereby disrupting the banking operations of the Claimant, if their demand is not met within 21 days.
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (Claimant) further noted that the threatened act of the Respondents would greatly prejudice the investments made by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bail out the Claimant after the global financial recession and the huge investment of the new core investment of the Claimant.
When the matter was called up in the Court, Udi Agba announced his appearance for the first, second and fifth Respondents, while Mrs Faith Lawani held brief for Fred Agbaje, Counsel for the 4th Respondent (Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC).
The Court held that it is illogical conclusion for Agba to announce his appearance for only the first, second and third Respondents, since there are other aggrieved parties in the Court and none should be left aside, while the matter was adjourned to May 30.