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Telecoms union gives MTN 14-day ultimatum to address workers’ welfare

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Telecommunications union under the aegis of the the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have issued a 14-day ultimatum to MTN Nigeria Telecommunications Plc to address certain issues bordering on workers welfare or face an industrial action.

The association also workers would down tools and subsequently disrupt telecommunication service nationwide if the telco failed to accept its demands before the expiration of the two-week ultimatum.

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In a statement signed by its President, Opeyemi Tomori, and Secretary, Okonu Abdullahi, it said MTN should respect and adhere to international best practices as encapsulated in the International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98.

It said, “You may recall that sometimes in 2019, a similar ultimatum was issued but for the timely intervention of the Honorable Minister of Labour and Productivity, the planned action did not take place.

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“Just as it was in that year, the company continues to remain adamant in listening to the cry and demand of its workers, who are members of our union.

“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.

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“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.”

According to the association, while MTN claims respect for freedom of association and rights of its employees to belong to it, the company continues to refuse negotiating collective bargaining agreements with it.

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It added that its members in MTN have non-existent mutual negotiated exit benefits, are exposed to discriminatory remuneration/benefits and ridiculous/inhumane retirement benefits.

PTECSSAN said, “As a responsible trade union, we shall not allow the company to continue to disregard relevant laws of the land that protect the rights, especially rights to organize and bargain, of the workers, hence, we demand as follows:

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“That MTNN management agrees to a two-week physical meeting to round off the CBA negotiation and sign off the document. That the union will no longer be in any meeting without both the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Human Resources Officer in attendance.

“That MTNN management should immediately lift the embargo it placed on some workers from membership of the union by communicating to them (level 3 and above employees) that they are free to join the union since membership is, in the first instance, voluntary.

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“That MTNN management should stop forthwith obnoxious policy that threatens membership of the union.

“That MTNN gives full recognition to the union as the sole negotiating body for its members and for whoever among the employees to benefit from the negotiated items of the Union must be ready to pay her membership dues.

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“That if any of these our demands are not met on or before Wednesday 23 February 2022 we shall be mobilizing in conjunction with other sister unions affiliated to Nigeria Labour Congress workers within and outside the company for industrial actions that will force your Management to grant our demands.”

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