The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has said that it is working on proposing a bill to the Senate that will provide for improved welfare benefits for dockworkers.
President General of the union, Comrade Tony Nted, disclosed this while addressing journalists at an event in Lagos recently.
Nted said that the proposed bill is to seek for the allocation of a percentage of the revenue generated from the ports for the welfare and retirement benefits of dockworkers noting that their wages and pension are not adequate to cater for their needs.
He said: “The Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 has been ratified and the future of seafarers could be protected, what of that of the dockworkers? That is the more reason why we are trying to propose a bill for the amendment of some of the obnoxious laws that will allow probably one or two percent of the revenue generated from the port for the upkeep and retirement benefits of dockworkers.
Anything that concern labour, be it seafarer or dockworker, should be treated with speed of lightning because these are the people that hold the bulk of the revenue generated from the ports. Without the dockworker, there will be no port.”
Nted said that terminal operators should not be solely responsible for the welfare of dockworkers.
He called for the immediate intervention of the government for better conditions of service for dockworkers.
“Conditions of service that will be beneficial and stand the test of time, which is the condition of service we are talking about. It has to be looked into. The federal government has to come in otherwise the future of the workers in the ports will not be protected. The job in the port is based on traffic. When there is no traffic – by no traffic I mean no vessel, there will be no jobs. And who pays? That is why the federal government has to come in” he stated.