Port operation not affected as Maritime Workers Union joins NLC strike

The nationwide strike action embarked upon by a faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday over the removal of oil subsidy by the Federal government had little effect on port operations as activities at the two major seaports in Lagos, – Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports – were mostly uninterrupted.

Checks by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY revealed that most port operators including customs officers reported for work with clearing agents going about their normal businesses.

But while speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, President, Dockworkers branch of the Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) , Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, said the union has asked its members to comply with the strike action.

According to him, the union had received a directive from the NLC to join in the strike and until a counter directive is issued, his members would not go back to work.

He said, “Maritime workers union of Nigeria is an affiliate of Nigeria Labour Congress and a directive has been given to all the affiliates to join in the strike. If there is a counter directive, we will let our members know.”

He however noted that the strike action did not have any significant impact on port operation as there has been a lull in port activities in recent time due to low cargo volume.

“Is there any vessel in the port? We have been on strike for almost how many years now in the port because there is no work. Go to ENL, Tin can Island you can’t see any person there. So maritime workers have been on strike since APC came into power because there has been low volume of import and it is affecting us.

“If they call off the strike, we will only pass the directive to our members but we need to continue to pray for us to get work to do at the port because there is no job,” he said.

On his part, Public Relations Officer, Tin Can Island Port command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Chris Osukwo said work is going on at full scale at the command as agents are turning up to clear their consignments.

“We are working on a full scale at the command. We are doing more and better. No sensible Nigerian will support this strike action because the President is on a good course so he deserves our support so that he can achieve his mandate. It is not every time, we will continue crying wolf,” he said.

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