A labour and governance expert has hinted of legal action against The Consolidated Bank Ghana and GCB bank for what he describes as unlawful job losses at these banks.
John Esiape said the layoffs that staff of some defunct banks have suffered after the banks were taken over by the new institutions, are contrary to law.
The Labour Policy International council member wants the laid off staff to be paid the salaries due them or the new institutions must lace their boots for a legal battle.
“All the workers must continue getting their salary,” he said on news analysis programme, Newsfile, on Saturday, on the Joy News channel on Multi TV.
“We are prepared to test this in court,” he told host Samson Lardy Anyenini.
Mr Esiape’s comments come at the back of series of reports of layoff of staff of defunct UT Bank and Capital Bank by GCB Bank — which took over the two institutions in August 2017 — after they both went into liquidity challenges.
Related: Staff of defunct Capital, UT banks petition Akufo-Addo over severance pay
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A year on, the regulator has created the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) to take over Beige Bank, Construction Bank, UniBank, Royal Bank and Sovereign Bank, for similar reasons. Sovereign Bank was even cited to have obtained their license by false pretences.
Hundreds of staff of Capital Bank and UT Bank were laid off, some of whom are still struggling to find new jobs.
Days after taking over affairs, Consolidated Bank issued a statement asking all staff to prove themselves in 60 days or get ousted.
Read: Prove yourself in 60 days or get fired – Consolidated Bank tells staff
But questioning the legality of these happenings, Mr Esiape argued that the new owners of the banks had no justifiable reasons for their actions.
“There is no basis for a probation. Both directives were wrong…they don’t comply with standards of labour practice,” he stated.
He explained that, “what happened in the true sense of the word is not close down or collapse. It was more of a rehabilitation or takeover which in our view means there is change of ownership”. The work is still going on,” he added.
“We want to place on record that if there have been any terminations, they are wrongful or unfair terminations,” he said.
Mr Esiape also took a swipe at the various labour unions in the county for being “quiet”. “It’s either they are for the workers or against them,” he lamented.
Prof Godfred Bokpin
Former Head of Department of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Prof Godfred Bokpin who was also on the show added that some compensation would have to be worked out for the victims since they have families and dependants.
He however, argued that it would make good economic sense for the new owners to keep all the branches.