ABUJA, July 13 – Workers resumed at MTN Nigeria on Friday after the country’s labour union picketed the South African telecoms company over the rights of workers to join unions, the company said.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the umbrella labour union in Africa’s most populous nation, shut down MTN operations in Nigeria since Monday over claims that the telecoms firm had refused workers from becoming union members.
MTN Nigeria staff confirmed that they were allowed to enter offices for the first time on Friday since this week.
“Given ongoing interventions by various stakeholders … and the security agencies, we trust that there will be no further protests, aggression, attacks on our employees or damage to the network and property,” MTN said in a statement.
“Most of all, we expect that our employees’ rights to associate freely and without coercion will be respected.”
South Africa’s MTN is the biggest player in Nigeria’s telecoms industry. The company is in the middle of an IPO process to list its Nigerian unit, as part of a settlement with the Nigerian government over unregistered SIM cards for which it was fined $1.7 billion fine in 2015.
Last year protesters attacked and vandalised MTN’s head office in Abuja in apparent retaliation for anti-Nigerian violence in South Africa.