Workers in the maritime sector have threatened to shut down operation at ports over poor remuneration and terminal benefits of its members.
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has also issued a 21-day ultimatum to shipping companies, the employers in the sector.
In a letter dated February 2, 2020 and addressed to the Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), the union expressed disappointment that its request for a meeting since May 2019 to negotiate an upward review of the overdue terminal benefits currently being paid to workers, has been without a response.
The letter, signed by the union’s Secretary-General, Felix Akingboye, said the stance of the shipping companies to the issue is an indication of the level of contempt it has for the union and lack of regard for workers’ welfare.
He said: “In our letter under reference, proposal was made for a meeting of your association and the union to hold between June 10 and 14, 2019, with a view to reviewing the overdue terminal benefits currently being paid to workers, but up till now, you have not found it necessary to dignify us with a response.
“This is not an attitude that encourages cordial industrial relationship. It is rather an indication of the level of contempt at which you hold the union and the little regard you have for workers welfare.”
The union noted that the terminal benefits (Industry Condition of Service) currently being paid in the shipping industry was negotiated and became effective in the year 2008, a decade ago.
“Since you have decided to treat our request with levity, I have been directed to issue your association a 21 days’ notice effective from the date of this letter within which you are expected to convey a meeting with the union for the purpose of reviewing upward the terminal benefits payable to workers at their point of exit,” the letter stated.