Maritime workers union shut port operation nationwide

NPA urges Customs to auction overtime cargoes at Lagos ports
PHOTO: eranico

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria ( MWUN) Wednesday morning made good its threat to shut down operations at the nation’s seaport over unpaid wages to dockworkers by International Oil Companies (IOCs).

As at the time of filing this report, business activities were shut down even as workers and clearing agents were barred from accessing the port.

The President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, told journalists that the union would continue with the strike action until the outcome of a meeting with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the IOCs scheduled for 1pm today.

He said, “We will be attending the meeting with the IOC’s by 1pm. Until then, nothing has been agreed. The strike remains total.”

Executive Director, Marine Operations, NPA, Sekonte Davies, who met with the protesting workers empathised with the union over their unpaid entitlement from the IOC’s.

According to him, “The action of MWUN is one geared towards making sure people obey rules and regulation in this country. The stevedoring contractors were appointed over a year ago, on the 28th of May 2018. But since last year, the workers are not being paid. Some of these workers, their children have been out of school for a while due to non-payment of their entitlements by the IOC’s. Some families have even broken up due to this issue.

“So the management of the NPA empathises with the workers over their situation because we are the ones who appointed the stevedoring contractors.

“However, we are going to sort the issue because the IOC’s, who are the major recalcitrant in this matter, have started calling for a meeting since the workers began their action. The awareness have been created, and we believe the meeting that will hold by 1pm of today will solve the issues.”