Staff of defunct Capital, UT banks petition Akufo-Addo over severance pay

Staff of defunct Capital, UT banks petition Akufo-Addo over severance pay
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim |abubakar.ibrahim@myjoyonline.com
Date: 27-06-2018 Time: 06:06:43:pm

The employees of defunct Capital Bank and UT Bank have petitioned the President to personally intervene to facilitate the payment of their severance pay which was agreed with the Joint Receivers on January, 15.

A petition intercepted by myjoyonline.com dated May 20, 2018, and copied to the Chief of Staff, said the over 1200 employees were also appealing to the President Akufo-Addo to intervene for their entitlements to be paid. 

According to the leaders of the two banks - Raymond Addai-Danquah for Capital Bank Ghana Limited and Stephen Ernest Aning for  UT Bank Limited - there are other issues to be addressed like leave outstanding leave days to be paid as per the Labour Act 2003, sections 25 and 26.

As per conventional banking practise, the employees are also appealing for a waiver of their staff loans as a result of extenuating circumstances. The workers also appealed for a review of the laws governing liquidation specifically Section 135 of Act 930 since it leaves employees feeling very vulnerable.

The full petition is below:

MAY 20, 2018

PETITION TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA FROM WORKERS OF EX-CAPITAL BANK AND UT BANK

Dear President Akufo-Addo,

We, the former employees of defunct Capital Bank and UT Bank numbering about 1200 humbly petition your High Office as follows:

Your Excellency, on August 14, 2017, we the staff of the aforementioned banks were hit with the shocking and devastating news that in line with section 123 of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), Bank of Ghana had revoked the licenses of our respective Banks due to severe impairment of capital and appointed Messrs Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah both Directors of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Limited as Joint Receivers for the purpose of winding down the affairs of the two Banks.

GCB Bank was authorized by Bank of Ghana to take over the management of the defunct Banks under a Purchase and Assumption Agreement.

As a result of this action, the workers of Ex-Capital and Ex-UT Banks appointed the Union of Commerce, Industry and Finance (UNICOF) on the 19th of September, 2017 to negotiate an Exit Package on behalf of staff.

On the 13th of November, 2017 negotiations were held with the Joint Receiver and as per the Joint Receivers’ letter dated 15th January, 2018, an agreement was reached with UNICOF to pay all staff of these defunct Banks an Exit Package.

OUR CONCERNS

Your Excellency, our concerns are as follows:

  1. Payment of our Exit Packages
  2. Payment for leave arrears
  3. Waiver of staff loans
  4. Review of laws governing liquidation

Your Excellency, it has been nine agonizing months since our banks were liquidated but we have not received our exit packages. Many of us are jobless and struggling to make ends meet. We are also struggling to find new jobs and we also don’t have the capital to start our own ventures. The few who were lucky to have been employed by GCB Bank are also worse off in terms of remuneration since GCB perceives them more as a burden. It’s sad that many of us with several years working experiences were employed on an entry level grade without recourse to our previous working experiences.

Your Excellency, the liquidation of our respective banks has affected us socially, psychologically, emotionally and financially. We are saddled with the albatross of collapsing our banks in the eyes of societies in which we live when in reality we cannot be faulted for any complicity. It is a very distressing situation.

Mr. President, our lives have changed for the worse and we are struggling on many fronts. We are therefore humbly appealing to your High Office to intervene for our Exit Pay to be paid as a matter of urgency. We believe that even though it may not be enough to alleviate the psychological and social losses we are suffering it will help alleviate our financial burdens.

Your Excellency, many of us had outstanding leave days and as per the Labour Act 2003, sections 25 and 26, we are appealing for our outstanding leave to be computed and paid for. During the negotiations with the Joint Receivers, they agreed that this is non-negotiable but the Joint Receivers letter dated January 15, 2018 was silent on it. 

Your Excellency, during our period of engagement with our former banks, we were given staff loans to meet various personal obligations. As per the basic rules governing credit, our staff loans were taken for a specific tenure. However, these extraneous circumstances have contrived to truncate the tenure and also deprive us of our livelihood. However, despite the unfortunate circumstances, we find ourselves, the Joint Receivers expect us to pay our loans in full even though as per normal banking practices, regular customers who default on loans are given such considerations to help them offset their liabilities if they avail themselves.

Your Excellency, we are already suffering financially and we pray that you intervene for these loans to be waived to give us some comfort.

Mr. President, we believe the actions by the government and the Bank of Ghana to protect depositors’ funds and to ensure that no customer deposit was affected is fundamental to the success of Ghana’s Banking industry. We believe that any dither of confidence in the industry by an already highly unbanked population can only spell doom for the economy. However, we believe that one missing ingredient in this equation is the plight of employees.

Your Excellency, liquidation is a very difficult period for workers, their families and dependents so to keep them at the bottom of the priorities in payment of claims listed under Section 135 of Act 930 is a bit unfair. It leaves workers very vulnerable and given the hardships we are experiencing; it seems to us that the relevant agencies are not mindful of our plight. It takes forever for workers to be settled and some even lose their lives, family, and relationships in the process. We are therefore using this opportunity to also appeal for a review of Section 135 of the law to prioritise payment of claims in favour of workers.

Mr. President, we have come to you because we are a very vulnerable group up against the might of powerful institutions. We are confident that we will find solace and favour in your sight because you have spent a major part of your life fighting for the vulnerable and the entrenchment of fundamental human rights in Ghana.

Your Excellency, we also have faith in you because of the many progressive policies you have initiated since assuming the mantle of leadership and we are confident that our petition will be addressed.

Your Excellency, we will also like to take this opportunity to request for an audience with your high office to discuss the petition and the way forward.

God bless you and God bless Ghana.

Thank you.

 

 


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