We are happy to have you and humbly welcome you to this Press Conference.
We have invited you here to let the world know about the unfortunate events and practices going on in Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited which shall lead to industrial disharmony and disruption of her services if not quickly arrested and mediated.
All our efforts in the past to address all the labour related issues confronting the workers in the company have been rebuffed by its management. Ultimate of which is gross disregard and denial of the workers their fundamental Right to Freedom of Association as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as Section 12(4) of the Trade Unions Act LFN 2004 and ILO Conventions 87 and 98. Therefore, we shall be letting the management know that there will be consequences to industrial peace within the company if our demands are not met within 14 Days from this day.
Gentlemen of the Press, the issues among others are as follows:
- INTIMIDATION, HARASSMENT AND VERBAL ASSAULTS
It has become hallmark of the company to make workers perform their duties under duress. They are intimidated, harassed, and even threatened with sack at every slight opportunity. The use of foul languages on the workers is also prevalent in the organisation.
- POOR AND DISCRIMINATORY REMUNERATION
Workers in the company are the least paid among vendors in the telecommunications sector. Also, pays are discriminatory with some workers paid more than others. The closer you are to the top Chinese Management or politically inclined individuals whose influence got you into the company the higher your pay will be.
- ABUSE OF EXPATRIATES QUOTA POLICY
Expatriates quota policy in the country allows companies to employ expatriates to work in the country ONLY when the skills needed for the projects are lacking among Nigerians and when the expatriates are brought in each of them are expected to be attached four Nigerian employees to understudy them for the purpose of transferring the knowledge unto the attached locals. In Huawei Technologies there are numerous foreigners working in the country that have no Nigerian understudying them. It is so appalling that the Head of Human Resources in the company is a Chinese.
- INCREASING SPATE OF PRECARIOUS WORK
Despite the efforts of the Nigeria Labour Movement to stamp out precarious work in the country’s workspace Huawei Technologies is digging deeper into it. Different categories of workers exist in the company, there are some issued with initial 1-month, 3-month and 6-month contracts who have worked for the company for several number of years without confirmation of their employments. Another set of workers are handed over to more than one outsourced company which has even made it difficult to point at the real employer.
- BREACH OF FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND RIGHT TO ORGANISE
To ensure the workers in its employ do not have voice the company has been intimidating, harassing, threatening to sack and sacking employees that have made moves to organize themselves into a Union. As we address you today there are some of them have just been given warning letters to deter them from exercising their fundamental rights as enshrined in relevant laws as mentioned above.
- GOING AGAINST ILO CONVENTION ON LEAVE DAYS AND LEAVE ALLOWANCE
Contrary to Holiday with Pay ILO Convention 132 which stipulates that leave days shall in no case be less than three working weeks for one year of service and with pay plus its(leave) allowance the company has not been granting its workers the expected number of leave days and leave allowance.
- 24 WORK HOURS
The field engineers in the company are subjected to work without rest. This has had devastating impacts on their health. Why the company expects the workers to give its best 24hours everyday beats our imagination.
- RESTRICTIVE CAREER PATH
Huawei Technologies does not have structures in place to ensure steady growth of employees in the organisation. Employees that are diligent have spent several numbers of years in the company without promotion.
- DISREGARD FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY OF EMPLOYEES
Field engineers in the organisation work throughout the day and even at wee hours of the night without police escort to provide security for them especially at volatile regions in the country. As a result of this series of attacks and kidnappings have been recorded on the workers.
- NO EXIT PACKAGE STRUCTURES EVEN FOR LONG TERM STAFF
As against the practice in the telecoms sector where exit packages are given to employees the company has persistently shied away from paying its workers at the point of their exit.
As a result of the foregoing, we hereby demand:
- That the company respect the right of the workers irrespective of the category they fall under to freely join the Union.
- Immediate withdrawal of warning letters and threats issued to the leaders of the workers trying to organize them into the Union.
- Immediate commencement of discussion and negotiation of Procedural Agreement and Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union for the workers.
- Immediate regularization of employment of all the casual workers in the company.
- A stop to continued abuse of expatriates quota policy in the company.
- Immediate provision of PPE for the field engineers and ensuring occupational health and safety measures are put in place for the generality of workers in the company.
- That Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited immediately remedies all the employee relations issues we raised above.
Huawei continues to undermine and sabotage Nigeria’s economy through its industrial relations practices which is designed to fully emasculate workers, make a nonsense of the local content policy of the federal government and ultimately exploit the nation without appropriate investment especially in human capacity and internalization of technologies for the benefit of our nation’s economy.
As a responsible Trade Union in the telecommunications and communication sector in Nigeria we shall ensure protection of the interests of all workers within the sector, hence, we are dedicated to ensuring that Huawei Technologies treats its workers fairly and within global best practices. All steps, no matter how painstaking they may be, shall be taken to compel the company to comply to all our demands.
Therefore, we implore business partners, individuals, and corporate organisations especially all the telecoms operators that rely on Huawei Technologies Limited to either impress it on the company to change its way towards the Union and its members in the organisation by yielding to our demands or source for another alternative to satisfy their business interests as our proposed action will be wide and compelling with deep implications for their business.
For the umpteenth time, we reiterate that if our demands are not fully and appropriately complied with by Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited on or before Friday 12th March, 2021 we shall withdraw every guarantee of industrial peace within the company. Sadly, services may be disrupted across the nation throughout all networks that Huawei is associated with from Midnight of Friday 12th March, 2021.
Thank you all.
Com. Opeyemi Tomori Com. Okonu Abdullahi A.
President General Secretary