Some workers of Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) have collectively agreed to secede from the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF), citing failure by UNICOF to protect the interest of ADB workers.
They have, therefore, opted to join the Financial, Business and Services Employees Union (FBSE) of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL).
Mr Secretary-General of the GFL, Mr Abraham Koomson, who the letter was addressed to, confirmed receiving it and added that the ADB workers are welcome.
According to the letter, the decision to secede was to champion and protect their interest as staff of ADB in the face of the Initial Public Offer (IPO) and post-IPO era.
It noted that whilst acknowledging the rights of the local union to seek the welfare of cherished members of staff and to address issues that bother them, the antagonistic posture of UNICOF in the media and the seeming silence of ADB local union on the improper conduct of the leadership of UNICOF has left a sour taste in the mouth of many staff members.
“We wish to first and foremost register our disappointment and disgust at the lack of leadership being demonstrated by our local union in the face of blatant falsity by UNICOF in the media, which continues to hurt the bank and its fortunes in this very competitive industry. It is a fact that the illegal strike which UNICOF imposed on us was very costly to the bank, eroding confidence and trust,” the letter said.
In the letter, the workers observed that banking is an occupation that thrives on trust and confidentiality, which unfortunately appear to have been lost in the leadership of their local union and UNICOF.
They noted that the recent illegal sit-down strike unscrupulously engineered by UNICOF severely eroded the trust and confidence that many customers had in ADB, and this has resulted in significant loss of business, particularly with regard to deposits.
The breakaway workers stated that such acts, if left unchecked, would place the future of hardworking members of staff in jeopardy as they are only relevant when they serve customers to their satisfaction and continue in business.
According to the workers involved, the call by the UNICOF leadership for the board and management to be sacked before continuing negotiation without any justifiable reason can best be described as in bad faith and self-seeking and not in the interest of ADB staff.
“As workers, we expect our union to be addressing issues on our welfare, including, but not limited to the following: whether there will be retrenchment after the IPO, what percentage of the IPO could be protected for staff, what are the benefits and incentives for staff post IPO.”
The breakaway workers stated that at a time like this when the bank is engaging all stakeholders on the IPO to ensure that the interest of all stakeholders are protected, the interest of the staff appears not to be on the agenda of UNICOF as the current wrangling have destroyed trust between management and the union, creating a deadlock situation.
In their opinion, this untenable situation, with its dire consequence on the bank and the welfare of staff, is creating an uncomfortable environment for fruitful negotiation in the nearest possible future, leaving their job security in limbo.
“As staff of the bank, we are also guided by the recent disgraceful conduct of our local union in the wake of the illegal strike.
“Not only was this illegality imposed on some branches, the leadership of our local union went round locking up some branches which were operational.
“In some cases, they locked up branches which had customers and staff, creating an environment of insecurity, fear and panic. We find this perfidious conduct appalling and insensitive.
“We would recall this same union in seeking our interest in the initial discussion of the IPO with management has continuously shifted the goalpost without recourse to staff of ADB.
“UNICOF has also failed to communicate with staff of ADB on these same issues which are unrelated to the IPO.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we refer to past communication between staff of ADB and UNICOF,” it said.
Source: The Finder
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