MTN staff protest termination of appointment in Ilorin

Contract staff with mobile telecommunication company, MTN,  in Ilorin, Kwara State, have protested termination of their appointment allegedly in violation of an earlier agreement.

The angry workers, numbering over 400, who said they were employed to provide customer care services for MTN through an outsourced agent, Contact Centre Limited, alleged that they had no proof to show the company paid their personal income tax estimated at about N46million between 2013 and 2016.

The protesters said that they have not received their tax clearance certificate since 2013 and expressed concern that all may be lost due to the latest development.

They also said that they were being owed arrears of pension, leave allowances and salary, while a seamless migration into fresh employment allegedly promised them at the end of the contract job had not been fulfilled.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin at the weekend, the spokesman for the protesting workers, Fatai Jinadu, who said that they were asked to submit all company documents in their care at the end of September, expressed fears that if the directive was obeyed it could lead to total loss of contact between them and the company.

“They asked us to submit property in our care but the letter they gave us said once we do that the company no longer owes us. They have not paid our pension for one year although they never failed to deduct it from our salaries every month, they have not paid September salary, so also our leave allowances for two years. If they had paid us pension it would have accrued interest.

“MTN actually promised us a smooth transition when they changed our company as outsource company but up till now we have not heard anything from them. We are in contract with the company to provide customer services for MTN but that contract ends today.

“From 2013 to date we have not seen our tax certificate. We don’t know if they actually remit the tax but they always deduct N3,200 every month from our individual salaries.

“We want all our entitlements paid with immediate effect or else we won’t submit any company property in our possession.
Our lawyers sent the company a letter two weeks ago but no response from them yet.

“We have been to Emir’s palace, Government House and others to let them know about our plight. We pay tax in this state and we believe that it is not only when they need our tax that they should see us.”

Efforts to speak with the management of the company proved abortive as a security man at the gate was sent to tell the newsmen that the management was in a meeting. One of the managers was spotted pleading with the workers at the entrance to the administrative section of the company. A team of policemen from F Division were later seen at the premises ostensibly to prevent any outbreak of violence.

However, investigations revealed that the company lost the lucrative job to an Indian company which has since began operations in an office along Ahmadu Bello Way, Ilorin. It was also gathered that the new agent beat its Nigerian counterpart after making presentations to MTN bigwigs in South Africa that it could offer the services at far lesser cost.