The President, Dockworkers Branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju says there is no more room for violence, gangsterism and thuggery at the nation’s seaports. This declaration is coming on the heels of a historic payment of N350,000 gratuity by ENL Consortium to some dockworkers who have elected to retire from their jobs.
Speaking exclusively with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in Lagos on Friday, the union leader said issues affecting maritime labour must be discussed at the table with employers, rather than the resort to the arm-twisting tactics of the past.
He said the payment of N350,000 gratuity to dockworkers by ENL Consortium is happening for the first time in the history of the maritime industry in the country, a development which highlights a big plus for both the union and terminal operators.
“For the past 30 to 40 years, we have not had anything like terminal benefit for dockworkers and it is under our administration that we are getting what a responsible dockworker ought to get. It is a starting point in the industry,” Adeyanju said.
He said the dockworkers that elected to leave the service of their employers were misguided on what they are entitled to collect as retirement benefits.
He said, “This has never happened before and I think someone is inciting these dockworkers by saying they are entitled to thirty three thousand naira a month plus the amount of tonnage they stevedore. But you this is not correct. There is a tonnage operation and there is time-related wages, which stands for permanent employment. And I think there is a mix up somewhere and I have addressed all of them to let them know that we have permanent staff and people that are on tonnage. You are paid on a daily basis on the amount of tonnage that you stevedore.”
He said the amount being paid by ENL to the dockworkers was in line with the agreement negotiated under the auspices of the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC).
“All I know is that all the agreements reached with the stakeholders is transparent and nobody including my executives can compromise with the terminal operators because it is a collective responsibility including the stakeholders t that had it possible to achieve what we have achieved now,” he said.
Adeyanju also hinted that the NJIC agreement is up for review in June.
The union leader said payments to the dockworkers would be done by cheques while relevant deductions will be made from the entitlements of those who took loans while in employment.
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