NUPTE, PTECSSAN tango over ZTE Nigeria check-off dues

The current crisis plaguing the umbrella labour union in the country is taking its toll on ZTE Nigeria Limited, as two workers’ unions pledging allegiance to Aliyu Wabba and Joe Ajaero are laying claim to the company’s check-off dues.

The unions- National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE) and Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN)- have been at daggers drawn, culminating in PTECSSAN, under the Ajaero-led United Labour Congress (ULC) picketing ZTE Nigeria on Wednesday.

Lamenting disruptions in the company’s operations due to the picketing, the firm’s Country Human Resources Manager, Brielle Gao, said as embarrassing as the action was, PTECSSAN did not follow due process, as there was no warning whatsoever to the firm.

According to her, ZTE Nigeria has been remitting appropriate labour dues to NUPTE since 2011, as its local staff belong to the union.

She noted that for GTE Nigeria to embrace the change being sought by PTECSAN, due process must be followed.

Debunking claims that the local staff had notified NUPTE of their intention to switch, Gao said: “The management contacted NUPTE immediately it received the mail regarding the changes, but we were told that they (NUPTE) are not aware of anyone leaving their union.

“The law is very clear on the matter. Every individual member has to write to the union and copy the management if anyone desires to opt out of the union.”

In a response to a PTECSSAN mail on the issue, Gao added: “The management, as required by law and practice, sought the comments of NUPTE towards the request of the staff of ZTE Nig Ltd.

“This request was made to NUPTE to avoid double payment that may result from NUPTE and they wrote to inform us that no such information has been given to them by any of the staff of ZTE Nigeria Limited.

“They further insisted that remission of dues should be made to NUPTE.”

She added: “While management does not intend to infringe on the right to freedom of association, it would take steps to protect the rights of others who may be forced to belong to where they do not want to belong.”

Head of Department, Admin/Finance of NUPTE, Mary Nwosu, in a letter to ZTE Nigeria dated February 28, noted: “The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is in a better position to address this issue, since it has taken a dimension of your organisation receiving threats from an association on labour related issues.”

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