Maritime workers begin nationwide strike today

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju
Adewale Adeyanju

Barring any last minute changes, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) will begin an indefinite industrial action to compel the payment of wages allegedly owed dockworkers and stevedoring companies by international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the country.

This follows the expiration by 6p.m Tuesday of a two-week ultimatum issuec by the union to the IOCs.

MWUN President-General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, told newsmen in Lagos yesterday that the IOCs have so refused to engage the union on the issue, thereby leaving it with no option than to begin the action by 6 a.m. today.

According to Adeyanju, the issue of unpaid wages has lingered for over a year.

“Enough is enough. The IOCs need to respect the laws of the land. These people are denying us our rights by failing to pay our wages,” he said.

In an earlier warning of the looming industrial action, MWUN had vowed that it would no longer watch its members “die prematurely due to the attitude of the IOCs”.

“We want to use this medium to intimate you, and the Federal Government, of the non-payment of stevedoring wages to dockworkers by the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.

“We are aware that on June 1, 2018, the NPA appointed stevedoring contractors to provide stevedoring services at various offshore jetties and onshore locations to the international oil services and other operators.

“It will be necessary to inform you that NPA had held several meetings with these operators to grant access to the government-appointed stevedoring contractors, process their invoices and effect payment, but unfortunately, the operators have refused to comply with the NPA directive after one year that the contractors were appointed,” the union said.