Maritime workers begin nationwide strike, shut ports operations Wednesday

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, (MWUN) has directed its members to withdraw their services, shut ports operations and begin a nationwide from Wednesday over unpaid wages to Dockworkers, among other issues.

The President-General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, while addressing officials and a cross section of dockworkers at the Dockworkers’ Branch of MWUN, Lagos, on Tuesday, said the industrial action would not be suspended until all outstanding payments for over a year were fully paid, and other issues resolved.

The union had on June 11 issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to compel the International Oil Companies, (IOCs), to pay over a year outstanding wages to Dockworkers or face nationwide industrial unrest.

In fact, the leaders of the union had last week set up a strike coordinating committee and directed its officials in all port formations nationwide to begin a massive mobilisation of members ahead of the planned strike.

Explaining why the union had resorted to industrial action, Comrade Adeyanju, contended that non-payment of Government appointed stevedores/Dockworkers by the IOCs contravened Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Act 2007.

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He lamented that several efforts made for the IOCs to see reason including the stakeholders meeting organised by the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, fell on deaf ears, lamenting that while some of the affected Dockworkers had passed on prematurely due to economic hardship, those alive had been made to become destitute.

“As a responsible union, we cannot continue to fold our arms and watch our members die a premature death because of the nonchalant attitude of the IOCs management toward the welfare of our members.

“In view of the foregoing, we gave a 14-day ultimatum/notice to the Federal Government, through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation to prevail on the IOCs to do the needful by paying our members.

“Ahead of the expiration of 14 days Ultimatum/ Notice, which elapsed on Friday, 28th June, 2019, we issued a reminder letter dated 27th June,2019, informing the government that if at the close of work on Tuesday 2nd July 2019, no evidence of payment is seen, our members shall withdraw service in all the nation’s seaports until all issues in contention are resolved.

“As we speak, there is no sign of payment, therefore, by tomorrow, our members in all port formations nationwide are to withdraw their services and begin a nationwide strike.”

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