After two days of picketing of MTN Nigeria’s office in Lagos by the organized labour over alleged anti-labour practices, the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) today said would advise the telecom operator to consider preventive shutdown of its network.
The ALTON Chairman, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, in a statement pointed out that the shutdown would be necessary if the picketing by the organised labour would lead to the damage of the operators facilities.
According to him, damage to telecom facilities will lead to disruption of critical national security and economic services which could also expose the citizens to danger.
He stated: “We hereby strongly request government and its law enforcement agencies to intervene expeditiously, otherwise the association will advise its member to consider preventive shutdown.’’
The industry expert also noted that disruption of operations of MTN through the picketing by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) would lead to poor quality of services which would also have attendant negative impact on the country, particularly its economy and national security.
The ALTON Chairman clarified further: “Members of ALTON are law-abiding organisations who are committed to best practices in all areas including labour-related matters. Employees of our members are able to join or form associations and unions if they so desire.
“However, the practice is that membership of 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”, Adebayo added.
The NLC has continued picketing of the telco’s office since Monday over alleged unfair labour practices.
Commenting on the organized labour action, the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, told journalists during picketing of MTN headquarters in Lagos that the congress would not condone any form of deprivation of rights or enslavement of the Nigerian worker.
He accused the telecom operator of refusing to adhere to labour rules by denying its workers the right to freely join unions in line with their constitutional rights.
However, the telecom operator denied the allegations.