Former employees at Union Homes, Savings and Loans have lamented the non-payment of the termination benefits by Union Bank PLC.While speaking with SaharaReporters, one of the victims, a woman explained how the refusal of payment by Union Bank had resulted in the loss of lives of about 37 persons while others, including she, with health conditions, are currently struggling to survive.
According to her, Union Bank terminated the appointment of staff members at Union Homes Savings and Loans as the latter is a subsidiary of Union Bank.
She explained that after several consultations, Union Bank agreed to pay the laid-off staff of Union Homes the termination benefits.
She, however, alleged that the management of the bank has gone back on its words, thereby making life unbearable for the retrenched staff who had found it difficult to venture into the business of their choice.
She pleaded with Union Bank PLC to consider the Transaction Implementation Agreement it signed agreeing to pay the staff of Union Homes their termination benefits.
The distraught woman said she is a widow and a diabetes patient who pays a lot to buy her drugs with two children in the higher institution of learning.
She said, “I am a former staff of Union Homes. Union Bank signed our termination letter, they were the ones that took over the management of Union Homes and their staff, Princewill Abumere and Kunle Owode, signed our termination letter.
“Union Homes is a subsidiary of Union Bank, what they did first was to change the operations to Union Bank, the logo and everything. In the TIA they signed then, Union Bank agreed to pay the staff our entitlement, now they are trading blames.
“I personally have health challenges and they are holding our money. I am a widow of 14 years, with no one to help my children. My children are in the University, I don’t want my daughter to go into prostitution in school. I am a widow and a diabetic patient, buying insulin N4,500 which I use regularly. No job, nothing, one can’t do anything meaningful because they are holding our money.
“They have put us in so much hardship and our colleagues are dying. I have been diabetic for over 20 years, I depend on Insulin. They just sacked us without paying us our entitlement. Help us plead with Union Bank to pay us and keep to the agreement in the TIA.”
Another affected person said, “Union Bank took over Union Homes and agreed to pay us, even my letter of termination was signed by Union Bank staff: Princewill Abumere and Kunle Owode. In agreement, Union Bank said they will pay the compulsorily retired staff but they haven’t till now.
“All court orders compelling Union Bank to pay has not yielded anything positive and Union Bank had signed, in their agreement before, that they will pay us, so this is what we have been suffering. Union Bank is holding our money now. They are just directing us here and there.” One of the affected persons also explained to 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.
Union Bank is the second longest surviving bank in Nigeria. The CEO/MD is Mr Emeka Okonkwo. He was appointed in April 2021. He joined the bank in 2013 as Executive Director Corporate Banking and Treasury Business.