Telecommunication giant, MTN, has condemned the actions of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) whose members coordinated a nationwide protest at its offices on Monday, July 9, 2018.

Members of the union protested at MTN offices in Nigeria, most notably in Bauchi, Oyo, Lagos, Enugu and Kano, over anti-labour practices. The union accused the telecommunication company of ill-treatment of its workers and barring its members of staff from participating in unionism.

According to a statement signed by MTN's Corporate Relations Executive, Tobechukwu Okigbo, on Monday, the company condemned the NLC's action and accused it of destroying its properties and injuring some of its workers who were attacked.

The company said that it does not stop its members of staff from unionising and supports the freedom of association, contrary to the NLC's allegations.

The statement read, "Today's violence and the needless destruction of property is 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.

"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.

"All workers have rights that should be protected. We work hard to not only ensure that this is done but also to ensure that our 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."

NLC accuses MTN of anti-labour practices

The Bauchi State chairman of the NLC, Hashimu Gital, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Monday's protest was to advance issues of decent work and better conditions of service for workers.

He accused the telecommunication company of regularly renewing employment contract with its workers as a way of shying away from the respiratory similitude of paying gratuity and pension to them.

"We need to tell them that they need to respect the laws of the country; they need to also respect our own labour laws, but most importantly, they must respect human and trade union rights," he said.