Lagos- - The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE) on Wednesday temporarily shutdown banking operations at First Bank of Nigeria head office in Lagos.
The industrial action paralysed activities at the bank for more than four hours, as the aggrieved union officials refused customers entry into banking hall for any business transactions.
Lagos State Secretary of AUPCTRE, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Biodun Bakare said the picketing of the FirstBank headquarters followed the N1.8 billion outstanding arrears of emoluments the bank owed 1 100 AUPCTRE members.
Bakare said that the money had been paid by the Anambra state government for workers at the state’s Water Corporation and Environment Protection Agency for eight years which the bank refused to disburse.
“They have been owing our members working with Anambra State Government Water Corporation salaries and allowances for eight years.
“On this, our union took Anambra State Government and the bank to court and the government said they have paid the said money to First Bank for onward disbursement to the workers,” he said.
According to him, all branches of FirstBank nationwide were barricaded by the union following the expiration of the ultimatum on August 12.
The secretary said the union would not guarantee industrial peace in all the branches of the bank across the country until the workers were paid.
Members, who were chanting different songs of solidarity, carried placards with different inscriptions, including 'Stop trading with our workers wealth', 'Life is more important'.
Others were 'Our members are dying', Release their money in your custody with interest'.
In response on the development, an official at FirstBank corporate affairs department, Efeturi Doghudje said the management would issue a statement later to that effect.
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