About 100 aggrieved contract staff of Whyte Cleon Limited, an In-sourcing subsidiary of First Bank Limited, who claimed to have been wrongfully disengaged from service on Wednesday protested in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to PM News, some of the sacked workers described their sudden sack as a callous act. The protest took place at the Correspondents Chapel office of the Nigerian Union of journalist, Mokola, Ibadan.
The sacked staff who were drawn from all the branches of the first generation bank said that they were protesting on behalf of over 1,000 of their colleagues who had suffered similar fate.
The protesters carried placards, some of which read: “Pay us our nine years benefit”, “@First Bank Nigeria, if you must sack pay entitlement”, “FirstBank engages in modern slavery,” “Pay your support staff their entitlements after nine years”, “Our mumu don do,” “Firstbank, pay my nine years entitlement”, “FBN = in-sourcing = Whytcleon stop slavery”, “FirstBank exploiting staff since 1894”, among others.
Addressing a press conference, the aggrieved group said many of the disengaged workers had served the organisation for not less than nine years but that instead of rewarding them with full employment status, the organisation could only disengage them with a short message service without any benefit, which they also said was unacceptable.
Spokesperson of the group, Mr. Aleem Waheed, insisted that they were not engaged by WhyteCleon Limited, but by In-sourcing Limited, a subsidiary and Human Resourcing arm of First Bank and that they worked and were being paid by First Bank Limited.
According to him, the sacked workers with varying years of service ranging from seven to nine years diligently and competently served the bank, adding, “all through our years of service in the bank, many anomalies had been ongoing. For instance, they don’t pay us some bonuses and allowances which were being enjoyed by full fledged staff of the organisation despite the fact that some of us dubbed contract staff have better qualification and years of experience than some of the full fledged staff”.
Waheed stated that many of them had served the company without complaints, despite being in the known of many anomalies, and that they were being denied some entitlements and benefits that they all worked.
Waheed who claimed that disengagement letters were not handed to any sacked staff as at the time they were told to hand over all bank belongings in their custody and stopped reporting for work listed of the the entitlements the bank denied them to include: “Pay For Performance, PFP, Up Front, Relocation Allowance, Millage Claim (travel allowance for training)”
The copy of the text which was made available to reporters read, “Dear Colleague, this is to inform you that you are here recalled to Whyte Cleon Limited effective September 8, 2017. Kindly submit all Banks properties in your custody, including handover note, ID card, Token and other documents to your BM/HBS/Supervisor effective Monday 11th September, 2017, you are no longer expected to report to your current location. For further directives or call the number of the officer overseeing your region as indicated below: North Jumai Adams (08091052850), South-South Olalekan Atoyebi (08187078518),West Onoriode Aramogbo (08023417968). Thank you”.
According to the spokesperson, most SMS were delivered when many of the workers had already reported for duty but unable to log on unto the system.
The group appealed to the government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant stakeholders to quickly come to their aid by compelling the bank to pay them for the nine years they had served the organisation.