The industrial workers of Ondo State protested for a second day by shutting down bank branches in Akure after the Guaranty Trust Bank withheld their pay worth N700 million.
Workers mobilized other workers in the state to join their protest with many of them riding their personal vehicles in the streets of Akure, the capital of Ondo State, led by an 18 seater bus, and causing gridlock for several hours.
Supported by the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC) Ondo State workers chanted songs of solidarity, blocked entrances to two bank branches in Akure using three waste disposal vans belonging to Ondo State Waste Management authority (OSWMA).
Attempts were made to dump the contents of the disposal vans on the floor of the banks but were stopped by security led by the Akure Area Commander, Mr. Edward Ajogun.
Workers chased bank staff out accusing them of stealing their money, turned away bank customers, and demanded the immediate payment of their salaries.
The two bank branches at the center of the protest are the new E-center of the bank located along Fiwasaye round-about, and the headquarters at Alagbaka road.
Customers who thought their money might not be saved besieged the bank to quickly withdrew their money upon hearing aboutTuesday’s protest but were barred from gaining access to the bank and its Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Workers allege Guaranty Trust Bank, without approval from the State Government, withheld their salaries of N700 million to defray loans.
They said not getting paid is causing them untold hardship with many of them claiming they don’t enough money for food, and they cannot pay for their children’s tuition fees
The Special Adviser to the State Governor on union matters, Dayo Fadahunsi, who visited the scene, pleaded with the protesters with a promise that the government will look into the problem.
Saharareporters learned that the State Government and the Executive members of the bank are engaged in roundtable discussions at this time.