A strike by workers demanding higher pay has forced MTN Group to close some of its South African customer help centres but Africa’s No. 1 telecoms firm said it would not bow to the union’s demands.
Hundreds of entry-level workers led by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) rejected MTN’s latest offer of an 8 percent pay rise because it is tied to specified performance targets but MTN said it would not remove the performance indicators.
“What’s on the table is not the performance management system. It’s about salary increase for everybody. That’s our understanding,” said CWU deputy secretary Thabo Mogalane, as the work stoppage entered its third week.
MTN said the strike, the first to hit the company since its formation in 1994, had also disrupted other services including its retail stores and a mobile phone repair centre.
“MTN will not replace its performance management system with a model that does not recognise personal contribution to performance,” said Themba Nyathi, MTN’s head of human resources.
The union and MTN’s management were due to meet on Monday.
MTN, which reported a 9 percent increase in full-year profit in March, employs about 6,500 people in its home market, where it trails rival Vodacom by subscribers.