By Mubiru Ivan

Former Crane Bank employees who were dismissed following its takeover by Dfcu Bank have petitioned Parliament over what they called unlawful dismissal.

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, he added 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.

“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 for a fair hearing.

“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,” he 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.

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