MTN is putting contingency measures in place to minimise disruptions at its operations. The company has issued a statement on the labour dispute.

“The Communications Workers Union (CWU) had demanded an 8% bonus payment which MTN agreed to. The company further tabled an additional 8,33% plus 4% for the year 2016 which ramped up MTN’s offer to 12% bonus payment. This is significantly better than what the CWU initially demanded.

“Despite the CWU not being recognized as the official employee union, even though they do not have the required 30% membership threshold, MTN has continued to negotiate with the union in good faith, including calling for the independent audit of CWU’s membership to address the contentious issue of union recognition at MTN. MTN proposed binding final arbitration and the union has categorically rejected,” the statement continues.

“Once again, MTN emphatically rejects the allegation that it employs casual workers. The non-MTN staff are employees working for third party vendors. In line with the requirements outlined in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, MTN has been paying employees working on Sundays and public holidays, contrary to CWU’s claims.”

Themba Nyathi, chief human resources Officer: MTN South Africa, says protracted strike action has, as is to be expected, impaired MTN’s ability to provide optimum customer service.

“We have put contingency measures in place to minimize disruptions and we are continuously improving on these interventions to improve the quality of service we offer to our customers. The speedy resolution of the strike is in the best interest of MTN as it will ensure that we resume with our normal operations, and to the striking employees as participation in the strike deprives them of an income because of the application of the policy of no work no pay principle,” says Nyathi.

Citing the violence that has marred the strike since it commenced last month, Nyathi says that MTN secured a court interdict that restrains striking employees and other participants from coming within a 100 meter radius of any of MTN’s premises for the duration of the industrial action. This interdict was sought in a bid to safeguard the lives of its employees and company infrastructure and facilities.

“The unintended consequence of the interdict was that the strikers vented their frustrations on innocent motorists who had nothing to do with the dispute. We have a strong contingent of law enforcement officers comprising of members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) outside our premises in Johannesburg.

“We wish to appeal once again to the CWU to rein in their striking members, violence and intimidation is not the solution,” says Nyathi.