Some former contract employees of Ecobank Nigeria have given the management of the financial institution a 24-hour ultimatum to pay their severance allowances or risk a shutdown of all of its branches in the Federal Capital Territory.
The disengaged contract workers accused the regional bank of using and dumping them after they had faithfully served it for many years.
She told reporters that she and her colleagues were paid between N50,000 and N75,000 as severance benefit, insisting that it was unacceptable.
“We are here in anger to demand our entitlements; we give them (Ecobank) 24-hours to pay us our disengagement benefits or we will shut down the operations of the bank in the FCT,” Awuna stated.
Another ex-worker, Philip Udoh, said about 1,500 contract employees of the bank were sacked nationwide, stating that many of them had worked with the financial institution for up to 12 years before they were unceremoniously laid off.
He said: “I’m not happy with this manner of disengagement. When we joined the bank, we were informed that we would be placed under probation after which we would get permanent appointment after six months, but some of us have worked for 12 years while some worked for 10 years, only for them to summarily ask us to go. We deserve a better severance package calculated at N200,000 per person.”
Chinyere Anosike argued that the sacking did not follow due process, stressing that their severance package should be based on N200,000 per annum multiplied by the total number of years of service by each person.
In response, the management of Ecobank said the disengaged workers were hired through a third party whose contract was not renewed, hence their redundancy.
The bank in a statement said it demonstrated good faith by putting in place palliative measures to cushion the effects of the disengagement.
The statement read in part, “In addition, the bank has offered them the opportunity to become ‘Xpress point’ agents of Ecobank as a way of further providing them with entrepreneurial and financial empowerment.
“May we state that Ecobank is not obligated to renew its contract with the service provider involved.”