The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has announced plans to shut down port operations starting from Monday, June 5, 2023, citing the unwillingness of the management of shipping companies to discuss the welfare and working conditions of their employees.
The President-General of the union, Adewale Adeyanju, who spoke to newsmen on Thursday at the union’s office in Apapa, Lagos, said a series of interventions and discussions had been explored but the management of shipping companies did not come up with a long-term solution to resolve welfare issues.
He said after the initial 14-day ultimatum expired, a subsequent 7-day ultimatum was issued as a result of the conduct of the management of shipping companies.
He recalled that the Union had in the past threatened to cripple operations of the shipping companies and the entire ports over alleged anti-labour practices.
This, he said, included poor salaries, retirement benefits, and poor working conditions for its members nationwide.
He said: “Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) wish to bring to the attention of the general public it’s bewilderment at the non-challant altitude of shipping companies management to discuss and negotiate the welfare and condition of service of our members in the shipping industry.
“This is in spite of several interventions and meetings which sought an amicable resolution of the unresolved welfare issues of our members in the shipping sector culminating in the issuance of a further 7-day ultimatum after the expiration of the previous 14-day ultimatum issued.”
“Related to the above, the Hon Minister of Transportation in a bid to ensure peaceful industrial climate in the shipping sector had directed the management of Nigerian Shippers Council to spearhead a collective bargaining meeting between MWUN and all shipping companies in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, despite several meetings called at the instance of Shippers’ council I’m their premises, the shipping companies’ representatives deliberately forestalled the negotiations process citing a lack of mandate from their respective principals insisting on maintaining status-quo.
“Consequently to the foregoing and the obvious unwillingness of the shipping employers to negotiate minimum standard and condition of service for our members in the shipping sector, MWUN is left with no option than to resuscitate the earlier-7 day ultimatum issues the shipping employers in the sector; and therefore withdraw the services of our members inclusive of our members in the Dock, Seafarers and NPA from all Potts, jetties, terminals and oil and gas platforms nationwide with effects from Monday 5th June 2023.”
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