*Allegation baseless, unfounded- Telecoms firm
Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have picketed offices of leading telecommunications firm, MTN, nationwide over alleged non-compliance to labour laws.
The NLC officials picketed MTN offices in various parts of the country: Kano, Akwa Ibom, Ilorin and Enugu, alleging non-compliance to labour laws and the refusal of MTN to allow unionism.
In Kwara State, Comrade Yekini Agunbiade and Issa Aremu led labour officials to picket MTN office in Ilorin, the state capital.
The MTN offices were blocked and workers were prevented from gaining entrance to the premises.
Aremu alleged that MTN did not just disallow unionism but also pay below national minimum wage and constantly sack their workers without benefit.
He noted that the picketing would last for three days pending when the Labour leaders will decide the next line of action if the company did not yield.
He urged the Ministry of Labour to ensure that all private establishments especially telecommunication companies adhere to the Labour laws for the benefit of Nigerian workers.
The organised labour in Akwa Ibom state also picketed the MTN office in Uyo; led by the state’s chairman, Etim Ukpong who said that the company’s labour policies were against civilised labour practices.
Meanwhile, MTN in the reaction described the picketing and destruction of their properties as a sad development, noting that the safety of their employees is of utmost priority.
In a statement signed on Monday by the Corporate Relations Executive, Tobechukwu Okigbo, MTN said all workers have rights that should be protected. The telecoms firm added that it will continue to champion the rights of their workers whether they are part of a union or not.
The statement reads in part, “As always our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our employees, some of whom were attacked by supposed NLC operatives and have sustained injuries.
“We do not prevent our employees from associating amongst themselves as they deem fit and owe our employees the obligation to ensure they are not compelled to join associations.
“MTN supports the freedom of association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.”