MTN Nigeria denies notice of strike by workers

Telecom workers on duty

. As PTECSSAN alleges unmet welfare demands

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, yesterday, denied receiving any notice of a planned industrial action by its branch of the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN).

In response to media enquiries regarding the warning strike, MTN said it is unable to validate or comment on the issue, but expressed its commitment to continued engagement with PTECSSAN and its representatives via established channels.

PTECSSAN had issued a 14-day notice of strike intended to disrupt national communication services an over an alleged refusal of MTN Nigeria to meet workers’ welfare demands.   

In a statement by the Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah, the Telco assured that: “If there are any concerns, we are sure that they will be brought to our attention and dealt with in a mutually beneficial manner.”

Speaking on the matter, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Esther Akinnukawe, reiterated the Company’s people focus.

She was quoted: “Over the past two decades, MTN Nigeria has built a ‘people first’ culture that values diversity, inclusivity, and hard work. The Company is dedicated to empowering employees and instilling in them a responsibility for our customers and communities. This is what defines and unites us. All MTNERs are at liberty to exercise their right to free association.”

She insisted that the Telco cares immensely about the wellbeing of its workers, and regularly reviews people’s solutions and policies to ensure that they meet global best practice, which makes MTN Nigeria a great place to work.

“We are committed to the development of our people and value their hard work and dedication. Our workforce is our most critical competitive advantage and a key differentiator in the marketplace, so we take staff welfare, remuneration and career development seriously.

“In line with this, we have stringent policies in place that promote meritocracy and protect our employees from all forms of harassment and discrimination and creates a workplace where employees feel valued and safe,” Akinnukawe added.

Our workforce is our most critical competitive advantage and a key differentiator in the marketplace, so we take staff welfare, remuneration and career development seriously.

Unmet demands

However, in its statement on Tuesday, PTECSSAN claimed that MTN refused the request of its workers despite the Federal Government’s intervention, and gave a 14-day ultimatum starting tomorrow for the Telco to address the welfare issues.

PTECSSAN President, Opeyemi Tomori, listed the issues to include the non-existence of mutually-negotiated exit benefits, discriminatory remuneration or benefits, and inhumane retirement benefits.

Tomori also urged MTN to lift the restrictions given to some workers from union membership.

The statement reads: “It has become inevitable that our union issues this 14-day ultimatum to alert the public of imminent industrial action.

“If any of our demands are not met on or before Feb. 23, 2022, we shall be mobilising in conjunction with other sister unions affiliated to Nigeria Labour Congress workers within and outside the company for industrial actions that will force management to grant our demands.

“Also, the disruption of telecoms service may cause MTN network subscribers, and the adverse effect on their businesses, business partners and associates.

“As daunting as those issues raised back then were, it was the firm belief of our union that the collective bargaining agreement, if negotiated in good faith and signed off by both parties, would go a long way in addressing the concerns of the workers in the organisation.

“Unfortunately, the company has remained adamant, insisting that all the workers’ conditions of service as stated in the company’s policy must remain so and cannot be negotiated.

“This negates the agreement they hitherto signed at the ministry of labour to fully negotiate the workers’ condition of service.”

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