Anti-labour practices: Telecoms workers begin strike Thursday

Anti-labour practices: Telecoms workers begin strike Thursday

The Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has declared an indefinite strike effective midnight on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

The union said the decision was deemed necessary due to the relentless anti-labour practices against field engineers perpetrated by subcontractors.

The telecoms union disclosed this in a statement sent to newsmen on Tuesday.

According to PTECSSAN, the subcontractors include Reime Group, All Streamenergy Solutions Limited, Uppercrest Limited, Tyllium Nigeria Limited, and Specific Tools and Techniques Limited, which are purportedly engaged in projects awarded by Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited.

The union said the grievances against these subcontractors include the appalling working conditions resembling modern-day slavery, a lack of entitlements commensurate with workers’ efforts, and the absence of adequate security measures, especially during late-night field assignments.

The union stated, “These workers are working like slaves in their own country with no entitlements commensurate with their efforts paid to them.

“They are made to work without work hours and risk their lives going to the field in the wee hours of the night without adequate security provided for them.”

The union’s demands include immediate recognition of employees’ fundamental rights to association, acknowledgment of the union as the negotiating body for workers’ welfare, and proper remittance of membership dues.

Furthermore, PTECSSAN called for the regularisation of employment for union members involved in Huawei projects, compliance with pension and health insurance regulations, and initiating negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

Furthermore, the union revealed that despite efforts by the Ministry of Labour and Employment to address the concerns through conciliatory meetings, the companies have failed to engage constructively, leaving no option but to resort to industrial action.

“All efforts by the union and the Ministry of Labour and Employment to resolve the union’s and its members’ concerns proved abortive as the companies failed to make themselves available for conciliatory meetings.

“In light of this, the union’s leadership directed its members to commence an indefinite strike action effective April 4, 2024.

“We implore Nigerians to bear with us during the period of the strike action and any attendant discomfort it may bring to them,” the union noted.

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