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Nigeria telecoms workers, PTECSSAN suspend planned strike

The Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has suspended its planned strike which was to begin on Thursday.

In a statement signed by its General Secretary, Okonu Abdullahi on Wednesday, the union said the suspension was as a result of agreements reached with the subcontractors it had issues with.

The union had on April 2, announced plans to embark on an indefinite strike over alleged unresolved issues with subcontractors linked with Huawei Technologies Nigeria Ltd.

Telecoms union suspends planned strike

The sub-contractors included Reime Group, Allstream Energy Solutions Ltd., Uppercrest Ltd., Tyllium Nigeria Ltd., and Specific Tools and Techniques Ltd.

Disclosing the agreements that have been reached with the telecom sub-contractors leading to the suspension of the planned strike, the Union said:

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  • “PTECSSAN threatened an industrial action effective April 4, 2024 against the undersigned subcontractors to address the concerns of her members.
  • “This led to a meeting at the union’s secretariat and the following agreements were reached including companies recognizing the fundamental rights of the employees to freely associate with the union.
  • “That the companies shall put in place health facilities in accordance with the National Health Insurance Scheme covering the employees, their spouses, and four of their dependents among others.”

The Union’s demands include immediate recognition of employees’ fundamental rights to association, acknowledgment of the union as the negotiating body for workers’ welfare, and proper remittance of membership dues.

Furthermore, PTECSSAN called for the regularisation of employment for union members involved in Huawei projects, compliance with pension and health insurance regulations, and initiating negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

In its earlier statement announcing the industrial action, PTECSSAN had asked field engineer members to begin the indefinite strike from 12 am on Thursday, April 4, over perceived inhuman treatment by five subcontractors working on Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited.

Explaining the reasons for the planned strike, PTECSSAN’s General Secretary, Okonu Abdullahi, among others said:

  • “These workers are working like slaves in their own country with no entitlements commensurate to their jobs. They are made to work without work hours and risk their lives going to the field in the wee hours of the nights without adequate security provided for them.
  • “Some other issues against these companies are refusal to recognise the fundamental right of the employees to freely associate with the Union, refusal to recognize the Union as negotiating body for the employees on workers’ welfare, refusal to remit membership dues into the Union’s account as earlier provided, refusal to regularise the employment of Union members on the Huawei Projects and the involvement of the Union in the process and refusal to commence appropriate pensions deduction and remittance of same as required by the Pension Act.
  • “Others are refusal to approve the National Health Insurance Scheme that covers the employees, their spouses and four of their dependents, refusal to enroll Union members in the Group Life Insurance as stipulated in the Pension Reform Act 2004, Section 9(3), and refusal to commence negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, (Conditions of Service) for the benefit of Union members.”

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