Protesting Representatives of the Labour Union at the MTN Head Office, in Lagos

Labour alleges infractions by MTN, vows to disrupt Telco’s operations across Nigeria

*The protesting workers allege MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has continued to undermine the West African country’s economy through its ‘industrial relations practices designed to emasculate workers’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For alleged infractions, including undermining the Nigerian economy through unfair business cum Labour practices, the Organised Labour has disrupted economic activities at Falomo Head Office of the telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc.

ConsumerConnect learnt the workers’ affiliates in conjunction with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Thursday, July 21, 2022, picketed the firm and vowed to disrupt the leading telecoms firm’s operations nationwide, if it refuses to address their demands.

The workers brandished placards, chanting solidarity songs, as they also barricaded strategic roads in the area.

Comrade Okonu Abdullahi, General Secretary of Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN), purported that the MTN Nigeria “has continued to undermine the country’s economy through its industrial relations practices designed to emasculate workers.”

The Labour centre further claimed that the telecommunications giant had remained adamant, insisting all workers’ stipulated condition of service must remain in force.

The workers claimed that MTN Nigeria “is averse to international Labour best practices, as depicted in International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions 87 and 98.”

The Labour union as well listed “precarious work conditions, discriminatory remunerations, and immediate stoppage of all obnoxious policies that threaten existence of the union and inhumane retirement benefits” as part of the workers’ grievances.

In lending credence to their action, Funmi Sessi, Chairman of NLC, Lagos State Chapter, said they were on the ground to support the workers and ensure their fundamental human rights are granted, report stated.

MTN’s response

Reacting to the picketing, a top official of the organisation, however, reportedly denied that the telecoms company does not allow unionisation.

The official rather insisted that some of the staff are PTECSSAN members.

ConsumerConnect had reported that MTN Nigeria had been at loggerheads with the workers over the company’s reported failure to pay exit package to its lower-cadre staff.

The leadership of PTECSSAN in a statement also condemned apparent inability of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in Abuja, FCT, to compel the leading telecoms firm to honour clear Labour laws in Nigeria by implementing welfare package in accordance with the global best practices.

Comrade Okonu in the statement said the Labour union expressed worries, that a leading telecoms company that claims to be Investor in People (IIP Certified) cannot have a basic exit package for its employees.

The Association also hinted that the Ministry of Labour had refused to transmit MTN appeal, if any, to the arbitration panel as it is expected to do under the circumstance in the country.

PTECSSAN maintained while it had continued to follow due process in resolving any industrial dispute with MTN Nigeria, the Telco rather “has continually used all controls within its powers to scuttle every effort of PTECSSAN and cause disunity within its fold.”

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