MTN Denies Workers Casualization Accusation
…As ATCON Knocks NLC
By Olabisi Olaleye
In the wake of the aftermath of the violent picketing by the Nigerian Labour Congress in front of MTN’s headquarters and branches nationwide,the telco has denied accusations of workers casaualization.
In a statement by the company, while appreciating support from all stakeholders’ in the country, we do not engage in casualization. All our employees have full-time employment contracts.
“To enable our organisation to focus on delivering our core services and in alignment with global best practice, we engage licensed specialised service providers to support our operations. We provide working conditions in line with international best practice. All employees earn well above minimum wage. They have access to a minimum of 20 paid leave days annually; flexible working hours; four months paid maternity leave; fully funded pensions; staff buses; mortgage subsidies and group medical cover with international emergency evacuation for employees and their immediate dependants. These are just some of the benefits that contribute to making MTN a great place to work”.
The dominant telco also said that over the years, it has engaged productively with representatives of Labour Unions who reached out, holding numerous extensive meetings. And will continue to do so, pursuing amicable resolutions in our negotiations with organised labour.
“The events of this week have been difficult and disruptive. However, this has in no way impacted our continued commitment to our people, our customers and this great nation. All of us at MTN want to express our sincere gratitude to you for standing by us during this challenging time.
“Connectivity plays a crucial role in your ability to run businesses, stay connected to family and attend to daily priorities. We understand this and assure you that we will continue to work hard to give you the uninterrupted service you deserve”
The telco also stated that it strongly backs unionism as against false allegations flying around , saying, “Our ethos is not to coerce our employees to do anything against their will. We have no objections to our employees forming a collective, through a union, or choosing not to do so. In fact, MTN has an Employee Council made up of officers below Management cadre. Council members are democratically-elected representatives who ensure that labour-related issues are addressed”.
Meanwhile, umbrella body of telcos, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has berated the recent demonstration of the Nigerian Labour Congress as being highly unprofessional and a disconnect to the connectivity plan of the country.
ATCON noted that if NLC had wanted to do anything at all, it should have peacefully carried out the picketing instead of going violent.
“The picketing of MTN Nigeria is uncalled for at this material time that some companies are laying off their staff because of poor economic situation in the country. This action by NLC has pointed to the fact that some people are out to sabotage ATCON’s efforts to encourage its members to make more investment in infrastructure development of the sector. The amount of money lost during these demonstration is alarming and ATCON thinks NLC should have approach the matter in a more professional and civilized manner.
“We would appreciate NLC to write to us before embarking on any demonstration that can put the security of the nation in jeopardy. Our members are law abiding corporate organizations that have been contributing to the wealth of Nigeria”.