Maritime union hails terminal operators for dockworkers new wage deal

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju
MWUN President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju. PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive

The President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has described the newly signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between port terminal operators and the union as the best agreement made so far as it entails all benefits due to workers.

Speaking while briefing dockworkers on the new agreement in Lagos on Monday, Adeyanju said with the CBA, the union would henceforth deal with the terminal operators directly without any interference by stevedoring companies.

Services of stevedoring contractors, he said, are based on third party engagement, which the CBA did not capture.

Adeyanju, who commended the Chairperson, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup and others for midwifing and ensuring the implementation of the CBA, said the agreement would see an increase in the wages of dockworkers by 60 percent.

He told the dockworkers, “It will not be good if I did not come with my excos to come and tell you what we have gotten on behalf of dockworkers all over Nigerian seaports. 

“The agreement we signed this time around is the best agreement so far. With the agreement, the dockworkers now have hope. Our employers are now the terminal operators and not the stevedoring companies. We don’t know them because they are not our employers.

“We are all working with the terminal operators and all entitlements and terminal benefits will now come from the concessionaires and not the stevedoring companies as it were in the past.”

The MWUN leader also said that compensation for accidents aboard ships involving dockworkers, which used to be handled by stevedoring companies, will now be within the purview of terminal operators. 

“It is the responsibility of the terminal operators with the union and the P&I Club because what the stevedores are paying dock workers that have accidents is nothing to write home about,” he said. 

Adeyanju said with the CBA, workers in specialised, containerised or RORO terminals will enjoy “considerable wage increase”, adding that the union will not allow any third party to scuttle the new agreement.

On time related wages on Customs examination at container terminals, Adeyanju said the rate has increased to 19.2 percent while workers at bulk cargo terminal will enjoy six percent increase. He added that both 20 and 40 foot containers attract 10 percent each while RORO operations will attract N1,000.

Adeyanju warned district and units heads of MWUN to comply with the terms and conditions of the CBA, adding that the union will not condone absenteeism from work.

“With this agreement, I want to sound a note of warning to the district chairmen to utilise the agreement to the last letter and all the good things must be followed,” he added.