• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Union, MTN disagree over abuse of expatriate quota, unfair labour practices

Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria

Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) and MTN, Nigeria’s largest mobile telecom service provider, have disagreed over allegations of abuse of expatriate quota, unfair labour practices and discriminatory treatment of workers in the company.

The association on Tuesday threatened to disrupt the services of MTN, from August 24, if their demands are not complied with.

At a press conference in Ikeja, Lagos, Okonu Abdullahi, general secretary of PTECSSAN, alleged unfair treatment of workers by MTN.

“We want the world to know about the unfortunate events in MTN which, if not quickly mediated, may portend great danger to the industrial relations clime within MTN Nigeria. We are also using this opportunity to inform the management of MTN of the consequences to industrial peace within its organisation if our demands are not met within 14 days from this day,” Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi listed what the association considers unfair practices by the telecom giant to include lack of exit package structure for long serving staff, abuse of expatriate quota policy, flagrant disregard to the law governing maternity leave, refusal to sign the necessary instruments of engagement between the workers’ union and the management and restrictive career path for Nigerians.

The association urged the MTN to withdraw expatriates engaged to do jobs that Nigerians are qualified and capable of doing and regularise the employment status of the casual workers in the company. It also called for the immediate signing of the procedural agreement and commencement of negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to meet the yearnings of its workers.

But the telco in a swift response via a statement by its chief corporate services officer, Tobechukwu Okigbo denied the allegations and described them as lacking merit. The statement noted that the company has over the years built a ‘people first’ culture that empowers its employees, values inclusivity and hard work, and instils a responsibility for its customers and communities.

“This is what defines and unites us. MTN cares greatly about all its workers, deploying global best practice people solutions and policies that make MTN Nigeria a great place to work. We intentionally invest in our people.

Indeed, MTN’s success in Nigeria is as a result of the hard work, commitment, and dedication of all staff, guided by a strong culture of people management. Our people and workforce are our most critical competitive advantage and a key differentiator in the marketplace so we take staff welfare, remuneration, and career development seriously. 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,” Okigbo said.