Maritime workers begin strike Monday
Workers in the maritime sector under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have decided to halt port operations on Monday, June 5, 2023 due to the management of shipping companies’ unwillingness to discuss and negotiate the welfare and working conditions of their employees.
Addressing journalists at the union’s office in Apapa, Lagos, the President General of the union, Adewale Adeyanju, said despite numerous interventions and discussions, the management of shipping companies was unable to come up with a long-term solution to unsolved welfare issues.
Adewale claimed that after the initial 14-day ultimatum expired, a subsequent 7-day ultimatum was issued as a result of the management of shipping companies’ conduct.
He added that the Union had in the past threatened to cripple operations of the shipping companies and the entire ports over alleged anti-labour practices including poor salaries, retirement benefits, and poor working conditions for it’s members nationwide.
Adeyanju 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 lack of mandate from their respective principal 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.”