Former Crane Bank employees petition Parliament over unlawful termination by DFCU Bank

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Former Crane Bank staff led by their lawyer, Mr Isaac Ssemakadde, petition Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga. (Courtesy Photo)
By :

Geoffrey Baluku

Former employees of the defunct Crane Bank have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga demanding that the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises investigates their unlawful dismissal by DFCU Bank.

Isaac Ssemakadde, the legal representative for the group told the Speaker of Parliament on Friday that in 2006 there was a new Employment Act which guarantees continuity for the employees of a company acquired by a new employer. However, noted that this had been violated by dfcu and Bank of Uganda (BOU) which acted as the mediator.

He said dfcu unlawfully laid off 400 former Crane Bank staff in March last year even after the central bank had assured them that they would not lose their jobs.

“BOU went behind the backs of former employees of Crane Bank and entered an agreement promising to pay dfcu all terminal benefits and payment dues that DFCU would incur when it terminates the workers,” Ssemakadde said.

“However after that, we learnt from the report of the Auditor General that DFCU submitted a request for reimbursement of terminal benefits worth shs5.1 billion. We wonder if this indemnity guarantee that BoU gave dfcu does not violate the Employment Act and whether they used all that money to compensate the former workers,” he added.

He requested that the workers are heard by the Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) Committee.

Last month, the same group issued a notice to sue dfcu and demanded shs48 billion compensation over unlawful termination of their contracts.

“The employees have suffered distress and financial loss as a result of the high-handed and unlawful acts of BoU and dfcu Bank and this is deemed to be their respective terminal benefits in accordance with the law, together with a basic sum of not less than Shs120 million to each member of the represented class for the loss so far occasioned to them, “ said their lawyer.

The former workers accuse dfcu Bank of breaching the constitutional, statutory and common law duties it owed to them as the transferee of their respective employment contracts, thereby causing them loss and injury.

“We want the Committee and Parliament to know that our rights were violated as former workers of Crane Bank; Parliament should summon the leaders of BoU to show cause as to why they should not be held liable for the way we were treated,” one of the former crane bank employees said.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga thanked the workers for their vigilance and bringing the issue to light thus promising to push the matter to COSASE so that they get a fair hearing.

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