NLC vows to continue picketing of MTN over non-unionisation of workers
Faults NCC’ silence
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to continue picketing the premises of telecommunication giants, MTN, until all its workers are allowed to belong to labour unions of their choice.
President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who disclosed this in Abuja, flayed the communication company for disallowing unionisation in Nigeria but allow their workers in South Africa and Ghana to belong to unions of their choice.
The national umbrella body of worker also lampooned the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) for reporting NLC picketing of MTN to the Office of the National Security Adviser saying such a step was hypocritical and suspect.NLC berated the NCC for not seen anything wrong with the violation of Nigerian laws, labour laws or security breaches leading to the loss of lives of security personnel, not to talk about humongous illicit financial flows as highlighted in the Thabo Mbeki Report which continue to undermine Nigeria’s national wellbeing or security.
NLC held that the greatest threat to Nigeria’s national security is not by Nigerian workers but the bullish and arrogant attitude of MTN and its co-travellers or collaborators like the NCC.
It added: “Let NCC continue to promote this talk about MTN infrastructure constituting core critical national asset. We do not begrudge them. For us at the Nigeria Labour Congress, however, no asset can be more critical to Nigeria that Nigerians themselves.” NLC warned the NCC that its premises might be picketed on the account of its continued support for MTN, saying, “we wish to put NCC on notice that we will picket it the way we picketed MTN if continues to discharge its duties in the breach. Let it continue with its ‘amebo’ instead of doing the work for which it is established.”
NLC described itself as a pan-Nigerian organisation, which jealously guard national interests and that is cannot be blackmailed.“We insist that companies, no matter how rich or powerful must respect our leaders, and obey the laws of the land. We insist they must treat Nigerians fairly and decently, for, clearly, Nigerian workers, nay, Nigerians have been at the receiving end of the bad behaviour of some trans-nationals in the telecom sector. Enough is enough,” it said.
It declared that if workers of Airtel, First Bank, Union Bank and many other companies were allowed to unionise, MTN should not be given preferential treatment or consider itself to be above the law.
It hinted that the three-day picket carried out in July represents the first step in the series of lawful actions it will take against companies that act in breach of national and international labour laws and national interest. It added: “We owe no one an apology for that. We would wish to let everyone know that we are committed to this operation. We have the will and the means to sustain it.” However, NLC said it is opened to meaningful dialogue towards resolving the industrial conflict.
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