August 22, 2017 / 3:58 PM / a year ago

Mali bank and insurance workers launch 3-day strike - union

BAMAKO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Banking and insurance company employees in Mali launched a three-day strike on Monday in protest at what union leaders said was the unfair dismissal of one of their members.

Bank branches were shut across the capital, Bamako, a Reuters reporter confirmed, leading to a rush of customers seeking to withdraw funds from cash machines, which were still functioning.

SYNABEF, the national union for employees of the sector, said that by midday 90 percent of its members had obeyed the strike order.

The union was calling for the reinstatement of the head of its committee at the Malian unit of NSIA IPO-NSIA.CI, a banking and insurance group headquartered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

“His dismissal did not respect the law and was without good reason. It was simply because he defended the rights of workers,” said Aguibou Bouare, SYNABEF’s secretary-general.

Attempts to reach NSIA officials were not immediately successful.

The NSIA financial group owns banks in Ivory Coast and Guinea and is a leading insurance provider in 12 countries across West and Central Africa.

“We tried everything to avoid this ... Beyond the 72 hours, if we do not have satisfaction, the union will decide the next step,” Bouare said.

Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Alison Williams

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