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Bank collapse: ICU gears up for battle in defence of affected workers

BoG

The Industrial Commercial Workers Union ICU is lacing its boots for a full defence of hundreds of workers who have lost their jobs in the current banking crisis.

Head of the Union, Solomon Kotei says the ICU will be offering “pro-bono” services in court for the workers who voluntarily agree for the union to fight on their behalf.

“By this action we have given all of them forms to fill. Some have done it others have not done it. You cannot go to court in some one’s name. You cannot go in defence of somebody who has not given you the mandate to do so.

“Until they enroll ICU or any union of their choice it will be difficult for any national union to jump into the train and say we are in and coming to your defence,” he said.

According to him, his outfit has spoken to the Receiver as well as the officials of the Consolidated Bank and communicated their intention to fight on behalf of the affected workers.

His comments come in the wake of reports suggesting some 700 workers of the defunct Beige Bank have lost their jobs shortly after their bank was collapsed together with four others and later merged into the Consolidated Ghana Bank.

The dismissal of the 700 has led to growing insecurity and uncertainty among thousands of the workers absorbed by the newly established Consolidated Bank.

Shortly after the takeover of the UniBank, Royal, Sovereign, Construction and the Beige banks the workers were told to wait 60 days to know whether they will still have their jobs.

With few days more to go for the supposed 60 days some workers of the banks have already lost their jobs.

The Employment Committee of Parliament is therefore demanding the immediate payment of their severance packages by the Bank of Ghana.

He also accused the Trade Union congress of lack of leadership in ensuring the workers are protected.

“The new bank [Consolidated Bank] is a new entity so the contract of employment was with the other five banks. If the contract of employment has been terminated, the least we can do is to pay their severance packages,” he said.

He said the right thing for the Bank of Ghana to do is to ensure the severance packages of the workers are paid.

According to him, if the severance packages of workers of UT and Capital Banks have not been paid, a year after their banks were taken over there is a possibility the packages of the affected workers of the five banks will not be paid.

Dr Donkor said the workers are bread winners in their families and are entitled to get their severance.

“It is not a favour. It is their right,” he said.

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