ADB staff lock clients out

•  The ADB offices at the Ring Road West, Accra.

• The ADB offices at the Ring Road West, Accra.

Customers of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), were yesterday stranded at the various branches of the bank after the workers declared a nationwide sit-down strike.

Some of the clients who spoke to The Ghanaian Times, expressed their outmost dissatisfaction at the industrial action, and called on the bank to reconsider their actions or face their wrath.

They said, failure of the workers to call off the strike would compel them to close their accounts with the bank.

Workers of the ADB yesterday embarked on the sit-down strike to further strengthen their demand for the suspension of the bank’s Board and Managing Director, so that proper investigations would be conducted into the activities of the bank.

The industrial action, was in accordance with an earlier message which circulated on social media platforms on Wednesday, urging the workers to embark on the sit-down strike.

“With regard to the Board and Managing Director’s refusal to step aside for a proper examination of issues of gross incompetence and corruption raised by the unions, and the failure of the appointing authorities to nominate external investigators to support the BoG to unravel the truth, we hereby declare a sit-down strike effective May 28, 2015, until our stakeholders did the needful,” the circular read in part.

A frustrated client, John Ankrah, who was unaware of the strike said the strike could have been communicated to them in order for them not to spend otherwise productive time, going to the bank to transact business.

“Anytime they wanted to sell their products to us, they sent us text messages so why couldn’t they use the same medium to communicate to us about this strike?”

“As customers, we must be informed of this action in order for us not to take car from our homes to come here only to be told they are on strike. If they care to know, I am a stakeholder and by this single act, I will advise myself”, he stated.

According to some of the customers who were unaware of the strike as well, the incessant strikes that pertain in the public sector was not a good omen for the development of the sector.

Another client Amina Awudu asked; “When was the last time you heard a private bank had gone on strike? I am considering moving to a private bank if the state owned one can’t serve me as I expect it to do.”

“I am here to send money to my customers up north to be used to purchase some goods before I go there next week, but if I am unable to do that between today and tomorrow, then it means I can’t get my goods on time. They must sit up,” she said.

The strike appeared to have come too early as many other customers went to the virtually empty banking halls of the ADB at Ring Road, Ridge and the Accra Financial Centre, only to be told operations have been suspended.

When The Ghanaian Times visited the Ring Road Branch for instance at 1:20 p.m., the doors of the banking hall were under locks with red flags tied on the doors, as staff members sat inside with red bands on their wrists.

The Accra Financial Centre, which now serves as the headquarters of the bank, was virtually empty with staff members seen through the transparent glass doors, chatting, while others spent the otherwise productive time on their phones.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) were, however, on board to serve customers who could not access the vast and regularly active banking halls which were almost deserted for the day.

Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC), has described the action, championed by the Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU), and the local union of UNICOF, as a contravention of the labour laws and urged the workers to take note of the consequences thereof.

In a statement signed by the NLC’s Acting Executive Secretary, Dr. Mrs Bernice A. Welbeck, the Commission said it was taking the necessary steps to have the dispute resolved in accordance with the labour laws.

By Julius Yao Petetsi    

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