Some former employees of the defunct Union Homes, Savings and Loans, a subsidiary of Union Bank Plc, have cried out over the refusal of the company to pay their terminal benefits for over seven years now.
One of the affected persons told SaharaReporters that as of 2012, 2013 and 2014, over 500 staff members of Union Homes were retrenched without being paid any terminal benefits.
He said there had been several consultations and meetings over the payment plan but none of that had yielded positive results.
According to him, no less than 37 affected persons have died due to the inability to raise funds for healthcare as he called on Union Bank to ensure a speedy look into the plights of affected persons.
He said, “From 2012 to 2014, the Union homes, savings and loans, a former subsidiary of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc retrenched a lot of staff members. Union Bank appointed management were sent to Union homes Plc to carry out massive retrenchment of staff, they retrenched 500 staff without paying us our terminal benefits.
”Union Bank stated it in the transaction implementation agreement, TIA, they prepared and endorsed that they will pay retrenched staff. Later, they sold Union homes PLC to Aso savings and loans PLC without us.
“We got the national leadership of the Trade Union Congress to intervene, they wrote letters to Union Bank to pay us or they will picket them, Union Bank PLC called for meetings which they agreed to pay us, they drafted a memorandum of agreement of the parties to sign, we all signed but Union homes Plc did not sign.
“The Union Homes claimed there were some people that are not supposed to be on the list, we reconciled the names; they removed 65 people out of 500. Some of them did not spend up to five years before they were laid off. We contested the issue of the five years also.”
Another former worker stated that they had written to the Central Bank of Nigeria’ Govenor, Godwin Emefiele, and also to President Muhammadu Buhari for their interventions.
“At first we contested the issue of five years but they brought up one policy guidelines that our directors wrote while we were at Union Homes without our notice. That anyone who is not up to five years is not entitled to entitlement payment.
”Later, Union Bank said whatever they are going to pay us will be additional liability on Union homes Plc. Union Bank claimed Union Homes is owing them N1.5 billion that they will use our entitlement to settle the debt.
”Union Bank said they got a court judgement asking them to use our terminal benefits to the settle the debt Union homes Plc is owing without trial. Union Bank did a memorandum of Understanding in April this year to that effect, we signed, TUC signed but Union Homes did not sign.
“Union Homes went to the court of Appeal that, no, you can't use staff money to settle indebtedness.
“Union Homes said the letter written to them is that the debt will expire 2024 and that staff money cannot be used for it. There are interests. As we speak now, we have lost 37 of our former colleagues who died of sickness and were unable to get money for treatment. One of them died in July 25.
“We have written to the Central Bank Governor; we have written to the President to intervene," he said.