AFP is reporting that more than 5 million telephone subscribers in Nigeria were cut off when protesters attacked an exchange of India-owned Airtel, one of the West African nation's biggest telecom firms, it said Thursday.
The protesters, members of the Nigeria Labor Congress, the nation's central labor movement, were protesting against the hiring of "casual," or temporary, workers and the dismissal of 3,000 employees, charges denied by the company.
NLC acting Secretary General Owei Lakemfa told AFP that the unionists took the action against Airtel "after it sacked 3,000 workers at the end of September, and for refusing to pay some allowances it agreed with the workers.
"Since they said they wanted to shut down some parts of their operations, which they said led to the the sack, all we did was to help them quicken the process," Lakemfa said.
In the statement, Airtel denied either hiring "casual" workers or dismissing the 3,000 employees.
This is becoming a case of "he said, she said," as opposed to focusing on the fact that 3,000 employees were laid off. The NLC's position that it is "helping" Airtel carry out its mission more quickly by cutting off the service is pretty gangsta. Hell hath no fury like an unpaid worker. Airtel might want to expedite finding a solution for this growing debacle by working with NLC, as opposed to working against them.
Read more at Yahoo News.
In other news: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wins 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.