MTN working tirelessly to resolve the impasse, condemns violent behaviour by strikers
MTN is committed to finding a speedy and an amicable resolution to the industrial action taking place in its South Africa operation.
As a law-abiding and responsible corporate citizen, MTN respects the employees' rights of assembly and association as enshrined in the Constitution. MTN respects the employees' rights to protest as long as this is done within the confines of the law and the spirit of the Constitution.
MTN and CWU have agreed on the rules of engagement, which include:
* No violence; * No intimidation; * No blocking of entrances and exits; and * Respect for freedom of choice, assembly and movement.
"MTN has noted reports that the workers who are protesting have been intimidating and assaulting non-striking workers. We condemn this criminal behaviour and we will take the necessary action against those who have been implicated. Employees should know that in exercising their rights they don't have to infringe upon the constitutional rights of other employees," says Themba Nyathi, Chief Human Resources Officer: MTN South Africa.
Nyathi notes over the years MTN has consistently given the CWU the space to recruit, organise and lobby on its premises, provided they conducted themselves within the confines of the law.
Commenting on the impact of the strike action, Nyathi says MTN experienced intermittent service disruptions, but its core operations were running optimally.
"Our operations are still working optimally even though minor disturbances have been reported. Our network coverage across the country is working as well, however our call centre has been impacted, but the impact was mitigated by re-routing calls to facilities that were not affected by the strike. These call centres performed satisfactorily under trying circumstances. We shall continue to monitor the situation closely, periodically review the contingency plans we have in place and report on the impact," says Nyathi.
He condemned the inflammatory language used by protesters, and said it was not in the spirit of reconciliation.
"MTN has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. MTN has a footprint in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East and its staff complement comprises of competent and highly skilled employees from across the world. MTN respects the employees' rights to protest as long as this is done within the confines of the law and the spirit of the Constitution, which outlaws hate speech."
Nyathi adds that MTN has an open-door policy and will continue to engage the CWU constructively and in good faith to find a speedy and amicable solution.
MTN has reviewed some issues with a view to reaching an amicable and speedy solution to the impasse.
Notably, MTN has reviewed the current bonus model which makes provision for an additional guaranteed 4% annual salary at the end of 2015 and a guaranteed 8.33% in March 2016 and every year thereafter. "MTN's new bonus model is better than the original demands by the union," says Nyathi.
MTN has also reinstated canteen subsidies which have been increased in response to employee feedback. The data limit for employees was reviewed and increased in line with personal usage. An extra SIM card was added to be used by any person of choice nominated by staff.
"We continue to offer highly competitive wellness benefits which are unrivalled in the market. We continuously benchmark our salaries and benefits with international standards and this is what gives MTN a compelling employer value proposition and gives us an edge to attract and retain the best talent," says Nyathi.
The principle of "No Work No Pay will apply to striking workers.
"We remain committed to working tirelessly to find a middle ground with the protesting employees in order to find a win-win outcome so that we can all focus on our operations." Nyathi concluded.
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN".
As at the end of 30 June 2010, MTN recorded 129.2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit http://www.mtn.com and http://www.mtnfootball.com.