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Telecoms workers kick against alleged anti-Labour practices, begin strike April 4

*The Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria says the grievances against the industry subcontractors include appalling working conditions resembling modern-day slavery, lack of entitlements commensurate with workers’ efforts have induced the industrial action starting Thursday

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For purported anti-Labour practices against certain category of industry stakeholders, the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has declared an indefinite strike, effective from midnight Thursday, April 4, 2024.

ConsumerConnect reports the PTECSSAN said in a statement issued Tuesday, April 2, that the decision to activate the industrial action Thursday was deemed necessary due to what the Union described as the relentless anti-Labour practices by sub-contractors against field engineers.

The telecoms workers also alleged the subcontractors including Reime Group, All Streamenergy Solutions Limited, Uppercrest Limited, Tyllium Nigeria Limited, and Specific Tools and Techniques Limited are purportedly engaged in projects awarded by Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited.

Grievances against subcontractors

According to the Union, the grievances against these subcontractors include the appalling working conditions resembling modern-day slavery, a lack of entitlements commensurate with workers’ efforts, and the absence of adequate security measures, especially during late-night field assignments.

“These workers are working like slaves in their own country with no entitlements commensurate with their efforts paid to them.

“They are made to work without work hours and risk their lives going to the field in the wee hours of the night without adequate security provided for them,” stated the aggrieved workers.

The statement noted the workers’ demands include immediate recognition of employees’ fundamental rights to association, acknowledgment of the union as the negotiating body for workers’ welfare, and proper remittance of membership dues.

PTECSSAN as well advocated the regularisation of employment for union members involved in Huawei projects, compliance with pension and health insurance regulations, and initiating negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

PTECSSAN further complained despite efforts by Nigeria’s Federal

Ministry of Labour and Employment to address the concerns through conciliatory meetings, the concerned telecoms companies have failed to engage constructively, leaving no option but to resort to industrial action.

It stated: “All efforts by the union and the Ministry of Labour and Employment to resolve the union’s and its members’ concerns proved abortive as the companies failed to make themselves available for conciliatory meetings.

“In light of this, the union’s leadership directed its members to commence an indefinite strike action effective April 4, 2024.

“We implore Nigerians to bear with us during the period of the strike action and any attendant discomfort it may bring to them.”

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