The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), today, picketed the premises of telecommunication-giant MTN in Kano, Bayelsa, Enugu and Bauchi states over alleged unfair working conditions for its workers.
Comrade Hashimu Gital, Chairman, NLC, Bauchi State, who led the picketing exercise in Bauchi, revealed that the action was to advance issues of decent work and better conditions of service for workers.
He accused the telecommunication company of regularly renewing employment contract with its workers as a way of shying away from paying gratuity and pension to them. According to him, the company, at every three months, sacks its workers and give them a new contract
In his words:
“We need to tell them that they need to respect the laws of the country; they need to also respect our own labour laws, but most importantly, they must respect human and trade union rights.”
Also in Enugu State, the protesters were led by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Virginus Nwobodo, the workers who carried various placards and chanted solidarity songs and accused MTN of violating Nigerian labour laws.
Nwobodo said the company was not interested in workers welfare and has continued to enslave and pay peanuts to workers despite the huge money they are making. He noted that the organised labour would not fold its arms while MTN and watch organisations like MTN treat its workers as slaves, and described the casualisation of workers as unacceptable.
While responding to a series of allegation levelled against it by the labour unions, the company in a release noted that it has not prevented its employees from associating amongst themselves.
“We do not prevent our employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit and we owe our employees the obligation to ensure that they are not compelled to join associations. MTN supports the freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution”.
Describing the attack on some of its facilities as “needless destruction and deeply saddening”, the company restates its commitment to the protection of workers rights.
“All our workers have rights that should be protected. We work hard to not only ensure that this is done but also ensure that our company is a great place to work”
The MTN group was founded in 1994. The company has operations in over 20 countries outside its home base of South Africa, and over 200 million subscribers.