MWUN begins strike at Eastern ports over sack of members
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has declared its resolve to embark on an indefinite strike at the nation’s eastern ports, beginning from Monday, December 14.
Secretary General of the Union, Comrade Felix Akingboye, disclosed in a statement that the Union’s decision was in protest of the sack of over 500 of its members at the Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) Nigeria Limited and the Associated Maritime Services (AMS) Limited.
He said that both companies had been unfair in handling of issues concerning staff, who are their members.
“The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria wish to bring to public notice the increasing unfair labour practice and assault on our members in Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) Nigeria Limited and Associated Maritime Services (AMS) Limited.
“The height of the anti-labour practices by these two companies were the sack of over 500 of our members on December 4, 2020 in the midst of the Union’s negotiations with the companies over improved welfare and the conditions of service for workers – our members,” Akingboye said.
The Secretary General also disclosed that both companies took adavantage of the Union’s request for a break to hold its national executive council (NEC), to immediately sack the members, while they were in the middle of negotiations.
He said: “In the course of the negotiations that started about a week earlier, the Union requested for a break to enable the Union hold its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday, 4 December 2020. To our greatest shock, while the Union was holding its NEC, the two companies issued redundancy letters to over 500 of our members.
“We wrote to the two management to withdraw the redundancy letters for us to resume negotiations in a peaceful and harmonious environment. They did not only refuse, but follow up the redundancy letters by locking out our members on Monday December 7, 2020.
“To further worsen the situation, they unleashed armed security operatives including soldiers and policemen on the Union members and inflicted various degrees of injuries on our members. Some of them are at present in hospitals receiving treatment.”
The Union, according to Akingboye, said it would not accept the illegal use of security operatives to deal with Industrial Relations issue where unarmed workers are brutalised, intimidated and harassed.
According to Akingboye, the Union would embark on an indefinite strike until the management of both INTELS and AMS withdraw the redundancy letters issued to members, and a guarantee to resume negotiations.
The Union seeks an investigation of the presence of armed security operatives, who brutalised the workers at a peaceful gathering.
It also demands a guarantee from the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that security operatives would no longer be used to deal with or settle industrial relations issues in the sector.