Staff at Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd. (Nitel) have given the government a two-week ultimatum to pay ten months’ salary arrears owed to them. If the government fails to do so, they announced the union would go on strike.
On October 4, the union chief sealed off the company’s office in Abuja after the government had yet to pay the employees.
Union national president Elias Kazzah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the management of Nitel “had asked for more time to liaise with Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on the matter.”
He said that they had “agreed to give the government two weeks to resolve the issues,” adding that the union “was working on a number of strategies should the government fail.”
One of those strategies is likely to be a strike.
Kazzah told NAN that a small committee was also set up to facilitate and monitor the process of discussions among Nitel management, BPE and the union. The labor chief added that his members “considered that the government was slow in addressing their case and asked for more commitment.”
NAN has reported that the union called the protest “a warning to the management.” The report added that the workers “expected it to act on the matter within one week.”