Maritime workers threaten to disrupt activities over sack, replacement of Nigerians with foreign workers

•Issues 7-day ultimatum

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the management of APM Terminals, the largest cargo terminals in Africa, to rescind the sack of Nigerian workers and their replacement with foreigners.

The union threatened to disrupt business activities, warning that the company should be prepared to face industrial unrest if, after the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum, the situation remains the same.

In a letter addressed to the Managing Director of APM Terminals, the Secretary of MWUN, Felix Akingboye, warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, if the management failed to reverse the sack, the union would have no choice than down tools and cripple the operations of AMP Terminals.

Already, the union has intimated the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other stakeholders of the development and the looming industrial unrest.

It was gathered that employment of the foreign security personnel was done without the knowledge of General Manager (Security) NPA, Department of the State Security Service (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC, among others.

The union accused three consultants from South Africa and Britain that work for CRG, a sister company to G4S of being behind the sack and replacement of Nigerian security personnel with foreign security personnel without the knowledge and approval of appropriate agencies and security.

The union had earlier insisted that the engagement of the foreigners after sacking Nigerian was a breach of the agreement reached between the Union and AMP Terminal management which stated that “in the event of a further need for outsourcing in the operations, the MWUN and management of APMT will discuss and reach an agreement.”

According to the union, the foreigners were engaged on Thursday, March 18th, 2021, claiming that this action “is a threat to national security,” adding that “security is also very paramount in this trying period of seeming growing incidences of breaches in security all over our nation and so any act capable of further contributing to its breakdown.

“Your employment of foreign expatriates to do that job which our members have been performing creditably is also in contravention of clause six of the said agreement with the union. Further reports abound of your management’s indifference to workers welfare.”

He said: “Arising from the above, I have been directed to issue your management a 7-day notice effective from the date of this letter within which to reverse all anti-workers activities being embarked upon by your management.”

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