MWUN threatens to halt activities at Nigeria's Ports over dockworkers' pay

Credit: Onepageafrica Archive

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has vowed to shut down the nation’s ports if the International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria fail to pay the dockworkers wages in the next 14 days.

The Union said the dockworkers were employed by stevedoring companies working for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The  Union’s President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and  its Secretary General, Felix Akingboye,disclosed in a statement 
on Thursday in Lagos that the Union would embark on a strike if the government fails to compel the IOCs to effect the payment within the period of its notice.

Here’s the full text from the MWUN:
“We are aware that on 1st June 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.

“We commend the Managing Director of NPA for the effort NPA management has made to compel the IOCs to engage the services of appointed stevedores and registered dockworkers in their stevedoring operations. But, unfortunately, the operators have refused to comply with the NPA directive after one year that the stevedoring contractors were appointed.

“The position of the operators on the NPA directive is worrisome and very surprising because the same operators had processed and paid the former stevedoring contractors since 2010 through a foremost terminal operator. So, why are they refusing to cooperate with the newly appointed stevedoring contractors since the modus operandi remains the same?

“In fact, at a stakeholders meeting held on February 28th 2018 organised by NPA to sensitize the IOCs, jetty owners and terminal owners, the NPA management made it clear that in line with section 27 of the NIMASA Act 2007, only government appointed stevedores and registered dockworkers are empowered by law to solely handle discharge and loading operations at the port, jetties and oil platforms.

“The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has been monitoring the chain of events on this matter since the last one year, and noted that the implication of the operators defiant attitude amongst others is untimely death of some dock workers while awaiting the payment of their wages, because they could not meet their family obligations like payment of house rent, children school fees and hospital bills, to mention but few.

“Consequently, we are constrained to give the Ministry of Transportation that superintends the appointment of stevedores’ 14- day ultimatum to prevail on the management of the International Oil Companies to pay all outstanding bills to our members, failure of which we will be compelled to withdraw our services and shut down operations in all the nations’ seaport.”