Early last week, we reported a 6 hour sit-down strike on Tuesday in the corridors of MTN Towers at Hannington Road and at the MTN Switch corner Bugolobi when all staff gathered in the cafeteria and laid down their tools. The sit down strike of the most salient division of the company’s technical operations caused melee amongst members of the top management especially the ones that were reluctant to agree to the terms of the 143 affected staff demands.
Strike saves the day
Every threat by the 143 affected staff was an impotent jab until the Tuesday strike that dwarfed management efforts and rendered the telecom susceptible to a network downtime. Our friendly sources at MTN informed us that both the Human Resource and CEO tried to convince the affected staff to get back to work to no avail. Not until the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Rami Farah pleaded with “his staff” to give him only 2 days ending Thursday last week so he could come back with a suitable package.
Billions manage to extinguish strike
During top management meetings last week a new offer was tabled and it was so impractical for most of the affected staffs to dispute. Management offered between 15 to 25 million shillings to each individual dependent on level as a sign-on bonus on condition that they accept to terminate their current contracts with MTN and then go on to sign a new contract with ZTE. On top of the sign on bonus, they are all entitled to provident fund contributions, and all unpaid wages and bonuses and severance pay equal to two weeks’ pay per year of service.
Old Guards Unhappy
Apparently the sign on bonus only looks attractive to junior staff the old guards and Engineers on level 3 and managers on level 3H feel cheated not out of greed but because some have served MTN for over 12 years and feel a compensation of only 25 million cannot redress for more than a decade of services rendered to the company. It should also be noted that their current contracts reportedly guarantee lifetime employment and according to the company policy, terminating their contracts would entitle them to compensations of over 100 million shilling . However management is doing its best to appease this now minority group with notional share options and severance pay equal to 2 weeks’ pay per year of service.
Some staffs believe this is a good riddance package and believe some demands have not been met saying that the sign on bonus is only sugar-coating the poison. However, we can reliably report it’s no longer sad and blues at MTN, the situation is now calm as staffs are now ready to terminate their contracts courtesy of the 3 months’ contract termination notice and are ready to sign new contracts with ZTE (Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation) and are assured of employment for at least the next 12 months before ZTE can also probably swing the axe in another retrenchment.