Telecommunications company, MTN, has reacted to what it described as needless destruction of property and attack on staff at its Bauchi office by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) operatives on Monday.
Chairman, NLC Bauchi, Comrade Hashimu Gital, who led the picketing of the firm’s office told NAN that the action was to advance issues of decent work and better conditions of service for workers.
“Every worker is entitled to better working conditions,” he said, accusing the telecommunication company of regularly renewing employment contract with its workers as a way of shying away from the respiratory similitude of paying gratuity and pension to them.
“We are giving them three days as warning, as directed by the National office of the NLC in Abuja,” Gital said.
According to him, the company, at every three months, sacks its workers and give them a new contract.
“This is not acceptable. Our laws do not accept that, and those workers need to be liberated.
“We need to tell them that they need to respect the laws of the country; they need to also respect our own labour laws, but most importantly, they must respect human and trade union rights.
“Workers have dignity, workers are not slaves and therefore, all workers must be treated with the best of attention.
“Injury to the workers at MTN is an injury to all Nigerian workers,’’ Gital said.
Reacting, MTN Corporate Relations Executive, Tobechukwu Okigbo, said the action of NLC was saddening.
“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.
“All workers have rights that should be protected. We work hard to not only ensure that this is done but also to ensure that our company is a Great Place to Work. We will continue to champion our peoples’ rights, whether they are part of a union or not and work hard to minimise disruptions in service to our customers,” Okigbo said.