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Telecommunication workers threaten 3-day warning strike

…cite precarious working conditions, gross disregard for laws

Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) says it will embark on a three-day warning strike starting from Wednesday, 16 June, 2021.

The decision was taken at the emergency National Administrative Council (NAC) meeting held on June 7, 2021 and further sanctioned by National Executive Council (NEC) of the union at its meeting held on June 8, 2021.

The union noted that the reasons for the strike were the growing precarious working conditions in the sector and gross disregard for laws and its institutions.

“This is the 21st Century, workers in the sector are still being treated like slaves even though slavery has long been abolished all over the world,” Okonu Abdullahi, general secretary of PTECSSAN, said in a press statement.

“We have made series of efforts in the past, including but not limited to escalating the issues to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and the House Committee on Communications, yet these employers believe they are bigger than the nation and would not respect our institutions,” he said.

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The union also listed some of “the anti-labour practices in the sector” and lamented the breach of freedom of association and right of the members by their employees as well as the “victimisation of union members and poor and discriminatory remuneration”.

Other issues highlighted by the PTECSSAN were increasing spate of precarious work, 24-hours working conditions, lack of hazard allowance, disregard for occupational health and safety and “gross disregard for the laws and institutions of government in Nigeria”.

It, therefore, demanded that the HUAWEI Technologies Nigeria Limited, the ATC, the 9Mobile, the Globacom, the Smile, the IHS, the Airtel, the IPNX Nigeria, the Spectranet, the MAINONE, the Ntel, the Swift and others that have not allowed their employees to belong to labour unions should respect the right of the workers to freely associate with the union.

The PTECSSAN demanded that “a communication duly signed by an authorised management staff from all these companies should be sent to the workers with assurances that they would not be victimised, harassed or even sacked as a result of their membership of the union”.

“If our demands are not met on or before Monday 15th June, 2021 we shall be going ahead with the initial three-day warning industrial action,” Abdullahi warned.

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