Beyond the cheery news which many are aware of, at United Bank for Africa PLC, (UBA) the early days of the year was full of real sad news for so many families. Many were sacked by the bank !
“They keep sacking and yet returning billions in profits.” an affected banker said
Another source volunteered “They are removing everyone earning good salary and employing cheaper staff, all to maintain their profits”
But the cheering news which the press fixed attention on, is the only side trending on the street.
Those who got wind of the unreported simultaneous sack are asking: Did UBA promote staff or did it sack 4,000?
The press release announced with glee:
“UBA Recruits 4,000 New Staff, Promotes Over 5,000 Staff members; increases Salaries Up to 170%.
Over 5,000 staff of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, started the new year with a lot of cheer as the bank yesterday announced its promotion to new grades as well as salary upgrades with immediate effect this January.
Those who are beneficiaries of this exercise will receive up to 170% increase in their salaries and benefits, whilst a good number have been moved to higher grade levels.”
The press release was was sent out on a Saturday. and it became the news butt, the media became agog with it, but the flip side hit the workers hard on Monday, the first working day of the week.
Twitter went crazy with news that UBA had laid off over 1,000 staff who many twitter users alleged were forced to resign just as they were stepping into the New Year
But it seems that the bank which claims to be “one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries” and “presence in the global financial centres of London, New York and Paris” may have released half-truths to befuddle the public if comments on twitter are anything to go by.
A day before the press release was sent out, UBA is alleged to have sacked thousands of employees in what can only be described as a curious new year gift.
The press release is now being seen by many as a red herring sent out to distract from the fact that they had chosen the first and longest month of the year to sack over a thousand long serving employees without warning.
Twitter has been awash with comments by concerned Nigerians who are wondering how a bank which just signed the first billion naira endorsement deal with a musician could sack thousands without warning and many also allege without severance packages.
Messages sent to Abiodun Coker of UBA were acknowleged, and he replied with words from initial release that explain the restructuring going on, though without direct comment on the sack issue.
“In a carefully planned restructuring embarked upon by the bank in the last quarter of 2019, UBA has transformed its grading system and processes to become one of the most competitive within the industry.
” The bank crashed its grade levels to 12 levels from entry level to the top of the pyramid where previously it had been 16 levels. This means that staff will now find it much easier to attain top leadership management positions at UBA as their careers progress much faster.
UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, had announced that
“UBA is continually seeking new ways to improve the fortunes of its staff as they are the backbone of the organisation .
“….we do not take issues relating to our staff lightly. We take great pride in being a listening bank that has the ears of our employees as they turn the wheels which make the organisation successful for our customers and shareholders.
” UBA recruits highly talented staff who perform at the best standards and deserve to be remunerated accordingly’
Continuing, Uzoka said ‘ we have also taken steps to ensure that our bank remains at the top tier as it relates to talent pool.
” We want to train the best and we have crashed the grade structure to make it easier and faster for our employees to progress along their careers. With this new grade structure, it will be possible for a new graduate employed at UBA to rapidly chart their own careers and become GMD by the age of 36.”
But some who were affected are claiming that they were forced to resign under duress.
The former staff who requested for anonymity via her email said the bank sent emails to branch managers with a list of sacked staff. The branch managers informed the affected staff who were then asked to resign or lose their entitlements.
The affected staff were immediately locked out of their systems with all access denied.
Our source said severance packages were promised staff but staff with loans may not see the promised money even though the loans were insured against sack and other eventualities.
YOU NEWS is aware that some of them are working on legal action..Stayed tune for unfolding details.