Workers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have alerted the Federal Government and security agencies of alleged plans by some individuals to disrupt operations at the nation’s ports nationwide.
According to a statement issued by MWUN, some individuals are allegedly circulating false information and recruiting disengaged dockworkers and “miscreants” with the aim of using them to foment trouble.
The statement alleged that the individuals are alleging that terminal operators had been owing each of the disengaged and current dockworkers from 2008 till date N3,639,560.00 “based on a purported agreement with organized labour that dockworkers would be paid from N33,000 monthly whether they worked or not with a 10 percent increment every year.”
President-General of MWUN, Nted Anthony Emmanuel, in the statement claimed that investigation revealed that the plot which allegedly started in Port Harcourt, Rivers State had spread across all the port formations in the country.
Nted explained that on April 19, 2014, the recruited miscreants attempted to prevent registered dockworkers and employees at Apapa ‘bus-in and bus-out’ from going into the ports to work until a combined team of security agencies and labour leaders were able to dislodge them.
He added: “We now have it on good authority that they have been re-grouping and plotting to invade the ports nationwide to cause maximum damage to human lives and terminal operators facilities.
“In fact, the plot according to our findings is to completely cripple ports operations and kill any one that stands on their way. They have been circulating inciting false information that according to agreement between the terminal operators and MWUN in 2008, the minimum wage for dockworkers is N33,000 with 10 percent increment every year whether the dockworker works or not.
“From their calculation, from June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2009, each dockworker is entitled to N33,000 making N396,000.00. From June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2010, minimum wage for a dockworker with 10 per cent increment per year is N39,600, making N435,600.00 for a year. From June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011, minimum wage for a dockworker with 10 percent increment is N43,560.00 making it N522,720.00. From June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012, the minimum wage for dockworker with 10 percent, increment is N52,272, making it N627,264.00. From June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, minimum wage for a dockworker with 10 percent increment is N62,726.40, making it N752,716.80. From June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014, the minimum wage for a dockworker is N75,271.68, making it N903,260.00.
“According to them, the terminal operators owe each dockworker N3,639,560.00. We are saying this is complete false and has no basis. We are calling on security agencies to arrest anyone caught circulating this falsehood to avoid unprecedented crisis in the ports.”