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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Airtel workers protest in Abuja


Workers of telecoms giant, Airtel, on Thursday barricaded a major street in Asokoro District, Abuja, in protest against alleged unfriendly working environment and conditions of service.
Dele Adegbite, one of the protesting workers, said that they were protesting the perceived cruel treatment of the workers by the management of Airtel Nigeria. He said the management of the company had been insensitive to the welfare of its workers since it took over from Zain Nigeria.
The workers blocked the road in front of the Airtel office in Asokoro. Carrying placards with different inscriptions, they decried the perceived cruel and inhuman treatment meted out to them by the management of the telecommunications company.
Some of the placards read: “We are tired of Indian slavery”, “Airtel sacks pregnant women”, and “Say no to Airtel or Indian slavery’’.
“We are carrying out this peaceful demonstration to protest the way the Indians have enslaved us in our own country,” said Adegbite. “Since they took over from Zain, the policies have been obnoxious. They have been taking us for a ride; they suspended our healthcare services; they have removed our leave allowances, reduced our bonuses and they have increased working hours.
Pregnant workers have been denied maternity leave by the management. Some of our systems are down that is why our services are bad. They even threatened to engage new staff if we insist on some of these issues.”
He said that efforts by the workers to communicate with the management in the past were rebuffed, adding that the workers were not carried along whenever major decisions were taken.
He said the workers want Airtel management to reverse some of its unfriendly policies to enable them to carry out their duties diligently, adding that the workers want the management to implement the salary increment as contained in their employment letters.

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