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Mali: Orange workers strike over shareholding

Mali: Orange workers strike over shareholding

Workers at Orange Mali have concluded a two-day stay-away to press home their demand for a revaluation of their shareholding in the telecoms company.

The strike, which began 20 November 2019 and ended 21 November 2019, was in response to the company's failure to increase the workers' shareholding in the company from 4.5% to 10%.

According to the Orange Mali Trade Union, workers had engaged company management "for months", in addition to embarking on peaceful action - including wearing red armbands to express their dissatisfaction.

The workers argued that their stake in the company is small compared to shareholding owned by staff at other similar companies including Malitel, where workers control about 10% stake in the company.

Union spokesperson Abdoulaye Konaté said an increase in worker's shareholding would improve their representation in the company's management.

"Everywhere, the workers' share is 10% except Orange Mali. The objective of this fight is to reduce the gap that exists between the share of the staff and the other shareholders," said Konaté.

While the management of Orange Mali has not responded to ITWeb Africa's request for comment, there are strong indications that the worker's request may not be granted anytime soon considering Orange Group's reported plans to list its Middle East and Africa branch (MEA) on the stock market.

Bloomberg reported that Orange Group is already discussing with companies likely to advise it in the listing and Orange Mali is one of the 18 subsidiaries that will be involved in the listing, which also includes subsidiaries that have strong leadership such as Orange Senegal and Orange Côte d'Ivoire.

On 13 September 2019, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Orange Mali received a request for the issue to be tabled at a board meeting scheduled for 15 October 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.

However, the issue did not appear on the meeting agenda.

Orange Mali staff have said despite having received no response from the company or its holding Group, they will " seek additional means" to force the company to accept their demands.

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