Maritime workers begin indefinite strike Monday over sack of 500

•As MWUN directs members in Eastern Ports to down tools

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have directed all its members in Eastern ports to commence an indefinite strike from Monday; over the unilateral sacked of 500 workers by the management of Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) Nigeria Limited; and the Associated Maritime Services (AMS) Limited.

The union said the strike will last until the management of INTELS and AMS withdraw the sack letters issued to their members and resume negotiations with the unions.

In a statement signed by the Secretary General of MWUN, Comrade Felix Akingboye, the Union demanded that the Federal Government should investigate the presence of armed security operatives at a peaceful gathering of workers; and sanction those who brought the security operatives that brutalized, intimidated and harassed its members.

Comrade Akingboye also stated that the strike would continue until there is a guarantee from the management of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) that security operatives will no longer be used to deal with or settle industrial relations issues in the sector.

“Consequently, the union has directed its members in the Eastern ports to down tools from Monday, December 14, 2020, and begin an indefinite industrial action,” the statement read.

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MWUN decried what it termed increasing unfair labour practice and assault on its members in INTELS Nigeria Limited and AMS Limited.

According to the Comrade Akingboye, “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.

“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 managements 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.”

The union alleged that the management unleashed armed security operatives on its members and inflicted various degrees of injuries on them, leading some of them to receive treatment in hospitals.

The statement added: “As a law abiding union, we cannot accept the illegal use of security operatives to deal with industrial relations’ issue where unarmed workers are brutalised, intimidated and harassed.”

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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