MTN strike not over yet

Johannesburg - Strike action against South Africa’s second-biggest mobile network MTN [JSE:MTN] has not ended yet, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Reports in weekend newspapers indicated that MTN and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) both compromised on demands to end a strike among call centre and franchise staff who want higher pay.

However, MTN has confirmed to Fin24 that while most striking workers have returned to work, the company is still embroiled in the strike more than a month after the CWU launched picketing action on May 20.

“MTN can confirm that it has not entered into an agreement with the CWU, and the original offer it has tabled still stands,” MTN SA told Fin24 in an emailed statement.

“MTN has reiterated that the policy of no work, no pay still applies to those employees who are still on strike,” the company said.

Earlier this month, MTN offered striking workers bonus payments of 4% in December. Previously, the CWU demanded a bonus payout of 12%.

Discussions between MTN and the CWU are ongoing.

Arrests after colleague 'doused with petrol'

To date, the strike has also been marred by allegations of violence and intimidation by CWU members outside MTN’s offices in Johannesburg and other areas such as Midrand.

The Johannesburg Labour Court has issued an interim order to the CWU demanding that it refrain from violence and intimidation in its MTN strike.

Yet the company alleges violence has still occurred.

“Yesterday, two MTN employees who are participating in the industrial action were arrested after they allegedly doused petrol on another service centre staff member in Midrand,” said MTN.

“Charges of intimidation and assault have been laid against the two employees who are also employees of the service centre warehouse. The two employees are appearing before the court today. MTN will also be lodging disciplinary proceedings against the implicated employees,” the company said.

Fin24 could not reach CWU for comment.

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