ALTON expresses worry over picketing of MTN offices by NLC
Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has expressed concerns over the picketing of the offices and disruption of operations of MTN Nigeria one of its members.
Officials of the Nigerian Labour Congress and persons allegedly in the employment of the company yesterday marched on MTN offices in different locations in the country to protest against the poor welfare of its Nigerian staff.
The company was also alleged to have prevented its workers from joining trade unions.In a statement made available to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, ALTON noted that its members are law-abiding organizations who are committed to best practices in all areas including labour related matters.
“As responsible corporate citizens, our members have always provided platforms for their employees to associate freely in accordance with the law and the constitution. Employees of our members are able to join or form associations and unions if they so desire.
“However, the practice is that membership of any associations and unions are voluntary. In line with fundamental human rights regarding freedom of association as guaranteed by the constitution, individuals must not be compelled to join an association or union if they do not choose to do so.
“Picketing of such nature as reported, leading to injury to persons and damage to properties, creates an unfortunate situation where employees are coerced to join unions and associations without respect for their individual rights of voluntary association.
“Damage to any Telecom Facilities will lead to the disruption of critical national security and economic services which will expose innocent citizens to great danger.“Attempts have been made to disrupt the network operations of some of our members through the shut down and vandalisation of critical network facilities.
“The implication of such disruption will lead to severe poor quality of services with attendant national security implications and far reaching implications on other services that are dependent on the telecommunications industry,” the statement added.
ALTON however urged government and its law enforcement agencies to intervene expeditiously. “Otherwise, we will advise our members to consider preventive shut down in order to avoid further damage to network facilities. We trust parties will respect each other’s constitutional rights in the interest of our nation Nigeria,” ALTON said.
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