Anti-labour practices: Nokia workers down tools in Nigeria

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Nokia building

Workers in Nokia Solutions Networks Ltd. have commenced a three-day warning strike to protest anti-labour practices by the management of the company.

The workers said they embarked on the strike as members of the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.

The General Secretary of the association, Mr Okonu Abdullahi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday that the workers would proceed on an indefinite strike at the expiration of the warning strike.

Abdullahi said the strike became necessary because the management of the company had continued to engage in anti-union activities and were disregarding industrial relations processes.

”The union has been calling for a review of the condition of service of employees which was last reviewed a decade ago.

”The management has refused to negotiate with the union. They always showed disdain and contempt for social dialogue, which would have allowed the management and the union to resolve issues facing workers.”

The unionist said that the company had resorted to systematic casualisation of workers, seeking to substitute formal workers with casual workers.

He also accused the company of promoting unwholesome labour practices in Nigeria.

Abdullahi alleged that the company had abused the expatriates’ quota policy and was regularly replacing Nigerians with foreigners on jobs that could be handled by Nigerians.

He alleged further that two years after the company acquired Alcatel Lucent, the management of Nokia had refused to give employment letters to former workers of the acquired company.

The labour leader recalled that the Nokia management had previously promised to give workers letters of appointment as soon as they were employed but that this was never done.

According to him, developments in the company have forced many workers to quit, seeking their means of livelihoods elsewhere.

When contacted, the Managing Director of the company, Mr Edet Richard, declined to utter a word on the developments in Nokia Solutions Networks Ltd.