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ASSBIFI hails IAP award, faction files objection

By on March 23, 2011

THE Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), has hailed the recent awards made in its favour by the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), even as it urged the break-away faction to “return home”.

Although, the break-away faction-Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc units of ASSBIFI, affiliated to Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), raised an objection to the award, through its lawyers-Bamidele Aturu and Company, the parent union, yesterday, indicated its readiness to accept the former if and when it chooses to return to the association.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, dated March 14, 2011, and signed by Anthony Itedjere, on behalf of the law firm, the NLC’s ASSBIFI, particularly objected to “the aspect of the award directing immediate remittance of all outstanding check-off dues to the first party (ASSBIFI), on the ground that the finding is perverse and not supported by evidence.”

Also, NLC’s ASSBIFI averred in the letter that “it shall state other grounds of objection in more detail subsequently.”

But when contacted on the telephone yesterday, President of ASSBIFI (the parent union affiliated to Trade Union Congress TUC), Sunday Salako, noted that he was not surprised at the award, given the union’s winning streak from high courts, to the IAP.

Salako, who hinted that overtures have been made to him and other leaders of the union since the awards were made, said his response had always been that the break-away faction was still part and parcel of the union and at any time they show interest in returning, they would be taken back.

He said the trend of judgment from the high courts to IAP, clearly showed that truth will always prevail, adding that an appeal to the National Industrial Court being contemplated may turn out to be an exercise in futility.

IAP, in the landmark legal resolution, had ordered NLC’s ASSBIFI to remit all outstanding check-off dues in its coffers to TUC’s ASSBIFI.

The notice of the IAP award has since been communicated to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 (2) of the Trade Disputes Act CAP T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004.

In the notice of award signed by Deputy Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations Department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mrs. Chinedu C. Dike, and addressed to the General Secretary, ASSBIFI, of ASSBIFI House, at Plot 4 ASSBIFI Road, Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, the IAP ordered the NLC ASSBIFI to return to the TUC ASSBIFI where it rightly belongs and to also remit all outstanding check off dues to the TUC ASSBIFI.

The notice pointed out that under “the first instrument the Industrial Arbitration Panel, in accordance with the terms of reference, was required to inquire into the trade dispute now existing between the ASSBIFI, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Union Bank Unit of ASSBIFI, United Bank for Africa Plc, United Bank for Africa Unit of ASSBIFI and the Nigeria Labour Congress, over ‘the illegal refusal of respondents one and three, (Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc), to remit monthly union check-off dues and levies since September 2004 and December 2004 respectively, and the respondents two and four (Union Bank Unit and UBA Unit of ASSBIFI) unlawfully holding themselves out as

ASSBIFI with ‘ ‘secretariat’ at 131, Broad Street, Lagos, instead of being two units of ASSBIFI with registered headquarters at ASSBIFI House.”

It added that under the second instrument, “contrary to law, the fifth respondents (Nigeria Labour Congress) hold respondent two and four, two branches out of the numerous branches of ASSBIFI as its affiliates.”

Source : Guardian