Union Homes’ ASSBIFI is Using astrike as Weapon of Blackmail – Management

The industrial strike action embarked upon by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc has been described as not only illegal but a deliberate attempt by a minority of the staff to blackmail the company into submitting to its whims and caprices.
Pearl Kanu, Managing Director, Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc said      the attention of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc has also been drawn to the convening of a press conference by a section of the Union Homes Unit of ASSBIFI on Wednesday August 28, 2013, in which many of the earlier reported allegations were repeated and several more levelled against the Company.
He said, while Union Homes has, in the past, refrained from reacting to contentions and claims of such nature, the company believes that it has become imperative to unreservedly articulate the facts, set the record straight and provide the benefit of a proper balance of information in the public sphere.
As is the case with corporate entities from time to time, Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc is reorganising for greater efficiency. The Company is striving to improve its processes, manage its costs and, at the same time, increase productivity. Our goal is to be a more effective organisation, providing valued services to our customers and supported by a competent workforce.
Unfortunately, our efforts to create a better organisation have been met with resistance by a very vocal and deliberate minority. 
This minority has, regrettably, seized and exploited the opportunities available to it in an attempt to disrupt operations and somehow coerce the Company into adopting an ineffectual and impracticable state of existence. The strategy adopted by this small group has included a continued, illegal strike action, the locking of the company head office gates in order to prevent the peaceful ingress and egress of our committed, majority staff and valued customers, as well as the levelling of several falsehoods and deliberate misrepresentations against the company. Many of the allegations made are, incidentally, directed at the former Management and Board of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc.
Among the claims made against the company is the assertion that the sum of N26 billion was transferred from Union Homes to Union Bank of Nigeria Plc to recapitalise the Bank. The facts behind the recapitalisation of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc are public knowledge; it is on record that Union Bank’s current capitalisation is based on a 65 percent holding by Union Global Partners Limited, a 20.04 per cent holding by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and a 14.96 percent holding by a diverse group of shareholders. Claims were also made that the CBN-appointed former Managing
Director of Union Bank, Mrs. Funke Osibodu was in office for over four years. It is also public knowledge that Mrs. Osibodu was at Union Bank for three years.
Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc categorically states that the assertion that nearly 400 members of staff have been disengaged since October 2012 is false. In addition, the Company affirms that it has continued to work to meet its obligations to its depositors, contrary to the claims of the group.
The ASSBIFI Section has also issued several demands on the Company. One of such demands is that staff who have not been promoted for between four to ten years be promoted immediately. Union Homes maintains that promotion is an organisation’s prerogative and is not administered as a matter of course or based on duration of employee service. Union Homes further maintains that employee promotion is based on employee performance. A demand has also been made on the Company to credit staff pensions into individual staff Retirement Savings Accounts. The factual position is that Union Homes is presently waiting for the necessary Nigerian Pension Commission approval required to effect the disbursements and will do so once that approval is received.
As a responsible organisation, Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc is mindful of its obligations to all its stakeholders, including its employees. The Company has ensured, and will continue to ensure, that these obligations are met, in accordance with company policy, as and when they arise. Staff gratuity payments have been in line with the Collective Agreement between the Unions and Management and will remain so.
It is clear that there exists a small opposition to the goal of building Union Homes Savings and Loans into an effective organisation. It is also clear that this opposition will resort to inventive methods in an attempt to impede these efforts. The current reality nonetheless is that Union Homes Savings and Loans is committed to indeed becoming an effective organisation. We will continue to work to evolve into a more viable and valuable institution for the benefit of our customers, shareholders and employees, the greater number of whom do not support the current strike action but have been forced to stay away from work as a result of intimidation by the determined minority.

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