Some disengaged workers of Ecobank Plc who were recently laid off by the bank, said they will sue the bank to court if their severance fee is not paid within two weeks.
The aggrieved said most of them were recently promoted for efficiency and productivity in their various departments, yet the bank said they were sacking for poor performance, adding two months after receiving their sack letters, the bank has refused to pay them their emoluments thereby subjecting them to untold hardship.
Speaking with National Mirror on Thursday, one of the workers, Mr. Dipo Ojutiku, in confirming the decision to take action against the bank, said for over two months since they were laid off for what the bank referred to as non-performance exit exercise and one month salary in lieu of notice given, that their severance package has not been paid.
Ojutiku explained that the management of the bank had bluntly refused to pay them, even though the sack letters stated that they were redundant, saying also that the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) had had series of meetings with the management of the bank to mediate and resolve the crisis, but to no avail.
He said ASSIBIFI had even suggested to the bank to apply similar exit package agreement used for the non-performance exit exercise in 2010 for the affected staff since both exercises are based on non-performance, a suggestion Ecobank refused.
Another disengaged staff, Mrs. Josephine Egbagbare, said she was a branch manager who supervised the construction of a branch from start to finish and grew the balance sheet to over N2bn within two years. Egbagbare lamented that a year after that feat was achieved, that the same set of staff were disengaged based on non-performance without paying them exit package after working for the bank for certain number of years with excellent performance.
She added in view of the above and the unlawful termination of their appointments, that the affected staff have given Ecobank a two week ultimatum to pay the affected staff severance package or face court action.
However, Ecobank Spokesman, Mr. Austin Osokpor, told National Mirror on the phone, that they former workers are only seeking to get attention. Osokpor said the bank has fulfilled all its obligations to the former workers, including all their entitlements, adding it was within the rights of the bank to “hire and fire”