REPORT ON THE PICKETING MTN OFFICES NATION WIDE BY THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday 9th July 2018, decided to picket all MTN offices nationwide because of the unfriendly Labour practice of the company.
We all Converged with our affiliate unions at the first Point of Picketing ,which is the MTN headquarters Falomo Lagos, where the Leadership of Congress took time to give more Insight on why the action must take place.
It said no amount of blackmail would deter us from Commencing with the action as MTN were already Making False alarm against the Picketing action, instead of addressing the real issues.
The picketing was led by the Congress President Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Mni and Members of the National Administrative Council of NLC. The Congress made it known to unions at the picketing in Lagos that,all its efforts and other measures brokered by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association(NECA) to address the issues of unfriendly Labour practices by MTN all failed as the company fail to return to the negotiating table.
It said even though the company makes 60 percent of its profit from Nigeria, it was only in Nigeria that MTN workers were not unionised and were subjected to casualisation in total violation of the Labour laws in the country and the ILO conventions.
Tuesday, July 10, marks the second day of the picketing of MTN offices nationwide by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its civil society allies. This action is intended to draw the attention of the public to the inhumane treatment of Workers by MTN.The picketing train then moved to one of the biggest branch of MTN in Ikoyi still on the Lagos axis
Where Congress Revealed that “MTN Nigeria, since it commenced operations in Nigeria and in clear violation of extant national and international labour laws, especially ILO Conventions 87 and 98 has denied its workers the fundamental principles of the rights at work.
“It similarly indulges in other anti-labour practices such as casualisation for nearly all types of work, fixed- term contract work for Nigerian workers, worst forms of precarious work, etc.
“It is on record that the Nigeria Labour Congress, on several occasions protested to the MTN and government about these unwholesome practices.
The World Decent Work Day marked on October 7th 2017 last year marked a watershed in these protests as NLC briefly picketed their Maitama office in Abuja.
“In response to this action of NLC, MTN reached out to NECA (Nigerian Employers Consultative Association) which brokered a meeting. However, due to inexplicable reasons, MTN opted out of the negotiations to the chagrin and embarrassment of NECA.
“Thereafter every effort by NECA and NLC to get MTN to the negotiating table failed. Frustrated, NECA pulled out of the negotiations. Subsequent efforts by NLC yielded no response either. Left with no other choice, NLC served MTN notice of a picket in line with the provisions of the law.
“And in prosecuting this picket, our members were peaceful and orderly.
We did not destroy any property of MTN and we had no intention to do so, as those were not our objective anyway. There were no doubt that we were clear about our objectives and we did not allow anything to distract us. We are responsible workers and we were alive to our duties and responsibilities.
“Even when MTN sponsored members of a private security company (with which it works) to attack and injure some of our members, we resisted the option of a proportionate response.
“The Falomo police have in their custody one of the attackers and an ID card of one of the assailants.
“MTN therefore, instead of resorting to cheap blackmail and propaganda should do the needful, give to Nigerian workers in their employment, their rights to freely associate, and hold an opinion as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution, the Labour Laws and Conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO.
“It is equally important to explain that Nigeria is the only country MTN refuses to allow workers to unionise. In South Africa where the company comes from, workers are unionised. Indeed, our counterparts in South Africa are worried that we have allowed this matter to linger for so long as MTN may choose to try to impose similar conditions on them.
The Third day was the last day of the picketing and roads led to the Apapa branch of the MTN where the Leadership of Congress also emphasized that “In Ghana, workers are unionised as in every other country MTN carries on business. It is important to point out that MTN makes over 60 per cent of its global money in Nigeria. Why then must it be so disdainful of our laws and people.
“However, its acts of impunity are not entirely new. Nigerians may recall it was the same MTN in clear breach of national security that imperiled the lives of our security personnel in the Northeast over which it was fined.
“We insist that companies, no matter how rich or powerful must obey the laws of the land. We insist they must treat Nigerians fairly and decently. No one should be above the law. Let all Nigerians know we are committed to this operation. We have the will and the means to sustain it.
we commend the Nigeria Police so far for their exemplary conduct. We single out for special commendation the police in and around Falomo, Lagos.”
The directives also was duely adheared to at all state chapters of the NLC Nation wide.
Below are picture report of various state chapters during the picketing exercise
NLC Kano state
Akwa Ibom State