Panic grips port workers as operator sacks five senior managers

Seaport terminal operators at the nation’s ports seem to be feeling the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses following the sack of five managers by one of the terminal operators, Josepdam Ports Services (JPS), operator of Terminal A of the Tin-Can Island Port in Lagos.

Aside from being the operator of Terminal A of the Tin-Can Island Port, Josepdam also operates three berths totalling 484 meters in length, while also serving as a multipurpose terminal.

According to some affected workers of Josepdam Port Services, the port operator recently sacked three senior workers in the level of Managers while also laying off 13 junior workers who were later re-absorbed following the threat of strike action by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).

The workers who wouldn’t want their names in print explained that “JPS has sacked five senior workers. They are the Commercial Manager; Human Resource Manager; Senior Accountant; Business Development Manager and Audit Manager.

“As I speak to you now, coming to work everyday maybe the last for everyone here because the company said it had to downsize due to the harsh realities of the economy which has nosedived due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thirteen other junior staff were also sacked on the 15th of June,2020 but were re-instated following the intervention of the President- General of MWUN, Com. Adewale Adeyanju, who had threatened strike action if the junior workers were not re-instated.

“We are living in fear right now. While some rumours have blamed the recent sack on restructuring effort of the company, others have said it’s due to Covid-19,” a cross-section of workers at JPS told a maritime journalist at the weekend.

An effort to get the reaction of JPS proved abortive as test messages sent to the Managing Director, Simon Travers were not responded to as at the time of filing in this report.



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