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Telecom workers halt intended strike after NLC intervention

By Mutala Yakubu
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The Telecom and IT Professionals Union, TIP have halted their intended striker after the National Labour Commission (NLC) intervened.

Their striker was scheduled for Thursday, March 18, 2021.

After calling off the strike on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, General Secretary of the Telecom and IT Professionals Union, Israel Edem Agbegbor, said they are hopeful of a fruitful session on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Telecom workers to embark on nationwide strike today

Mr. Agbegbor added they believe in the powers of NLC to settle the issue.

“As a law-abiding organisation, we have decided to respect the letter, and so we have complied, and we have suspended our industrial action pending the hearing from the National Labour Commission (NLC) come Thursday.”

“We suspended it exactly 6 am today so all our members started work at that time. We respect NLC’s powers and what it is capable of and has the resources as far as the stakeholders particularly the Ghana Chamber of Telecom. We are sure that they will come together and bring this matter to a closure.”

The strike was as a result of a deadlock in salary negotiations between the union and the management of the four sub-contractors (SBCs) who have been engaged by Huawei Technologies Limited to maintain the technical operations of MTN, AirtelTigo and Vodafone.

According to the workers, the four SBCs; Linfra Ghana Limited, MP Infrastructure Ghana Limited, Reime Ghana Limited and Reliance Personal Services, have refused to enhance their remuneration over the years despite the huge profits declared annually by the telcos and Huawei.

At the current salary negotiation by the Joint Standing Negotiation Committee (JSNC), which was meant to have taken place in September 2020, the Union proposed a 20 percent pay increase, but management locked its offer at 3 percent, after initially offering zero percent.

In a letter dated March 12, 2021, to inform the NLC and the SBCs of the intended action, the union explained that the four SBCs have failed to act in good faith in addressing the concerns of the workers, and therefore, the union “do not wish to cooperate with management going forward until the workers’ concerns are resolved.”