Ondo: Labour shut down Fidelity Bank for withholding N471m Workers’ entitlements
..…..AUPCTRE pickets bank in Ondo for withholding N471m of Anambra workers’ salaries
The leadership and members of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Ondo State Council today grounded activities at the Alagbaka, Akure branch of Fidelity Bank over alleged failure to release salaries and other entitlement of some Anambra workers in its custody.
The nationwide protesters in solidarity with their counterparts in Anambra State public service stormed the Akure Branch of the Bank as early as 7:00 am to express displeasure on the manner the bank had been treating the workers.
According to the union, the bank had refused to release the N471m in its custody meant for the payment of Anambra workers’ salaries and emoluments.
While chanting various solidarity songs, the protesters who mounted barricade at the entrance of the bank disclosed that in 2019, a court case between AUPCTRE and Anambra State Government was won over debt of salaries and other allowances due to Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) and Anambra State Water Corporation Anambra with the bank flagrantly disobeying the court order.
Armed with placards of various inscriptions which read “Fidelity Bank Release Anambra Workers’ Money in Your Custody”; “Fidelity Bank Obey Court Order, Other Banks Have Paid”; “Fidelity Bank Pay AUPCTRE Money Without Further Delay”; “Fidelity Bank Pay Anambra Workers’ Money Now”; and “Fidelity Bank Pay, The Money in Your Custody Is No Longer Anambra State Government Money, It’s Workers’ Money.”
Speaking on the situation, National Deputy President of AUPCTRE, Comrade Oyesanmi Ilesanmi who also doubles as the Ondo State Chairman of the union said the protest was in compliance to a national directive of the union.
Ilesanmi disclosed that a 21-day ultimatum had been issued to the bank followed by another seven-day which expired on Wednesday, but all to no avail.
He said: “You could remember that in 2019 a Court Case between AUPCTRE and anambra State Government was won over debt of salaries and other allowances due to Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) and Anambra State Water Corporation Anambra.
“Consequently, a garnishee order was served on Fidelity since 11 March 2022 but they have refused to comply with the order. A 21day ultimatum was served to the bank but yet no respond. Another seven days was added which expired on Wednesday 13 April 2022.
“Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) and Anambra State Water Corporation are members of the Amalgamated union. This entitlement we are talking about is running to 13 years.
“The state government released the money three major banks which include First Bank, First City Monument Bank and Fidelity Bank but the quantum of money to the first two banks were minimal to that of Fidelity bank, which is N471 million.
“They refused to release this money and the union took them to court. At the National Industrial court, a judgement was made but the bank still remain adamant, hence the need for this protest.”