Vandals suspected to be members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), had attacked various MTN offices around the country in the name of picketing and injured staff.
MTN Nigeria had been involved in protracted talks with the trade union to reach an amicable decision, all to no avail.
Confirming the attack and vandalisation of some properties for the company, Corporate Relations Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Tobechukwu Okigbo, noted that on Monday, July 9, 2018, officials of the labour congress were at the MTN offices to picket, but MTN in its civil manner, invited the officials into the Headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos, in order to reach unified decisions and prevent any form of violence or incivility.
“However, the protest became violent and disorganized in different locations as property within MTN premises were vandalized. Doors and gates were destroyed and alleged officials of NLC breached the fences to gain forced entry into the premises. In Ikoyi, MTN flag was lowered and the NLC flag was hoisted in its place,” he lamented.
In addition, he said that “numerous staff of the company was injured in the process of the protests and many assumed the roles of human shields over their colleagues, protecting them from the angry protesters.”
Okigbo further described the violence and the needless destruction of property as deeply 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,” he said.
Equally, he refuted the allegations by NLC stating that MTN Nigeria has refused to allow its employees to participate in Union activities have been refuted.
“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,” he declared, stressing that all workers have rights that should be protected.
According to him, MTN works hard to not only ensure that workers rights are protected and also to ensure that the 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,” he said.