FRESH trouble for Access Bank as enraged staff of November 2020 batch who were sacked, in the South East states embarked on massive protests to drive home their demand for the salaries and severance allowances and other entitlements.
In Onitsha, Anambra State, the the bank staff who were thrown out without due benefits, on January 6, 2021, staged a protest, carrying placards with inscriptions in front and around the bank vicinities and even vowed to continue their protest in all the South east states until their demands are met.
It will be recalled that the said sacked batch protested alleged illegal dismissal without benefits even as one of them collapsed on the process of the protest in Onitsha.
The protesting sacked workers marched through some major roads and finally landed at the gate of Basilica of Most Holy Trinity Church, Onitsha, ostensibly for God to hear their prayers and not man.
Some of the placards with the inscriptions, read, CBN/NLC/Bankers committee come to our rescue, Access Bank at it again, sacking staff without lay-off benefits, Access Bank mystery shopping video, amidst COVID-19 Access Bank sacked 3 times in 2020, working Monday to Sunday no benefits for 10 years, over 300 sacked in Southeast on November 2020 without benefits, Access Bank show us the mystery video clip you claimed you used to rate our performance and sacked us,” among others.
Spokesman of the enraged staff, Mr Emmanuel
Afamefuna Okoye, said that, “I worked with Access Bank Main Market branch, Onitsha. I was among the over 300 Access Bank staff November 2020 batch dismissed in the five Southeast states of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia without given us tangible reasons and benefits for our dismissal and so, we will continue the strike in the entire Southeast states until our demands are met by Access Bank. We are done with Anambra and will tell you the next state later”.
“We are not protesting to paint the bank black or say anything negative but it is not fair for somebody to work for you for years and you just ask the person to just go like that, somebody that worked for you for years, Monday to Sunday, which I am one of them”.
“CBN gave its directive that no bank staff should be sacked especially at this COVID-19 pandemic but Access Bank has sacked on three occasions in 2020. They did the first one in February, second in April and the third which we are involved in November, making it over 300 staff sacked in Southeast.
People that are the bread winners that have families, after working for you for years and you ask us to go just like that. They only gave us one month salary. What will one month salary do for us in this economic hardship?
They said they took mysterious shopping video to rate our poor performance with customers, let them show us the video clip if what they are saying is the truth,” he cried.
“The summary of what we are saying is that CBN, NLC and bank committees should come to our rescue. Access Bank should pay us off if they don’t want to give us our entitlements, they should give us something that is reasonable, even if they ask us to come back we will not work again”, he added further.
Also speaking, one of the sacked workers who collapsed during the Onitsha protest, Miss Ochulor Kelechi, that came from Aba, Abia State, stated, “I was one of those November 2020 batch sacked by Access Bank. I worked at Access Bank, Azikiwe Road, Aba.
When they asked us to go, we asked what was our offence and they said mystery shopping offence. Since I started working with them, I had never had any negative impact or found wanting. I was surprised over the mystery shopping video report. They should show us the video report.
They just asked us to go. Let them show us the video clip that we were not doing the right thing. I worked Monday to Sunday. I am a Customer Service Officer, (CSO). I don’t even have time on my own. I dedicated my time to the job, made sure I did it well, so I will like to see the video clip or show me the result where I did badly”.