News : MTN Call Centre Workers Protest Over Poor Working Conditions
Lusaka, Zambia, May 18, 2016 -- At least 300 MTN Zambia workers have staged a protest to complain over poor working conditions and salaries, a situation which threatens to destabilise the company’s call centre and its operations.
According to Michael Banda, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved workers, MTN Zambia has failed to honour the terms and conditions stipulated in the contracts to pay workers decent wages and fairer conditions of service since the call centre was outsourced to a foreign entity last year.
"We are over 300 of us in the call-centre and we all have the same complaint. I am a junior customer care executive and we are having a protest on the call centre, which is under ISON BPO. We are protesting against poor working conditions; salaries and also the terms and conditions of the contract," Banda said in an interview in Lusaka on Monday.
"We are given a six-months probation on that contract, which you are not even guaranteed whether it will be renewed afterwards or not. You have people in the company that have been fired and dismissed for unknown reasons. We have an issue where every other month people are getting hired and fired. The last four weeks, almost every week there are people that are coming on training, which is not a way forward because our jobs are at stake here and the job security is just not there."
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He explained that the protest would badly affect MTN’s operations.
"Our humble appeal and cry is that we want to be paid at least a minimum wage, that is what we are asking for," said Banda who further disclosed that workers were compelled to work "crazy shifts", a situation that had persisted since MTN Zambia’s call centre was outsourced last year.
By press time yesterday, a representative of ISON BPO from Uganda was yet to address the aggrieved workers. On Monday afternoon, MTN Zambia management was locked in a meeting to resolve the long-running dispute.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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