First Atlantic Bank Ghana has denied accusations of flouting the Labour Act by refusing to compensate some of its retrenched staff.
The Bank has been accused of dragging its feet to pay severance packages of locked-out staff numbering 68 since May 2018.
This amounts to defiance of the Chief Labour Officer’s (CLO) directive to the Bank to comply with the Law by negotiating with the affected staff before going ahead with the redundancy.
But the Bank has described the accusations as unfounded.
In a notice to Africa Feeds, the First Atlantic Bank said it has settled all affected staff.
It read “The Bank has settled three staff groups including the Union. The aggrieved staff have also been paid and withdrawn their money.
The Bank is currently waiting for the matter to be determined at the National Labour Commission as directed by the Chief Labour officer recently in his letter to the Consultant of the aggrieved staff”.
Chief Labour Officer’s intervention
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.
In a first petition about six weeks ago to the CLO, the affected locked out staff said the posturing 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, but it is dependent on the protective cover of the Laws of Ghana in its business dealings.
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 Bank however did not give the workers 3-months notice, did not negotiate with the affected workers and did not give notice of termination.