First Atlantic Bank refuses to pay severance packages of locked-out staff


First Atlantic Bank is dragging its feet to pay severance packages of some 68 retrenched staff, some of whom are pregnant women and nursing mothers since May 2018, Daily Mail GH can report.

The development, according to the affected personnel, breaches Section 65 of Ghana’s Labour Act.

The Chief Labour Officer (CLO) has directed the Bank to comply with the Law by negotiating with the affected staff before going ahead with the redundancy.

Sources at the Chief Labour Officer’s office indicate that there is no termination agreement between the bank and the affected workers as the bank has failed to provide a memorandum of understanding between the two parties. It rather provided an MOU that it signed with about 12 unionized staff. 

The affected staff said the Bank has been providing documents requested by the Chief Labour Officer regarding the redundancy exercise in bits which is a deliberate method to drag the process. 

In a first petition about six weeks ago to the CLO, the affected locked out staff said the posture of the Bank is undoubtedly a measure which seeks to obtain the duress of negotiation outcome through foul means, which approach is expected to be honest and fair in its affairs.

The Labour Consultant representing the affected staff, John Esiape, describes the action by the Bank headed by Nigerian Odun Odunfa as unfair, barbaric and bad faith. He therefore urged the CLO to intervene and firmly uphold the law and apply the authority of his office in which First Atlantic Bank has disregarded the requirements of the law with respect to termination and redundancy.

First Atlantic Bank on 30th April, 2019 locked out the affected workers, giving them one day notice and telling them they cease to be employees of the Bank on 3rd May, 2019. The aggrieved former staff feel cheated because they were not given the stipulated three-month notice, did not negotiate with the bank and were not given notice of termination. 

Source: Daily Mail GH

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