The truce meeting arranged between the International Oil Companies (IOC) and maritime workers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday was deadlocked as both parties could not reach a formal agreement on the payment of all outstanding entitlements being owed the workers by the IOC’s.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting which started around 1 pm, the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju revealed that no headway was reached at the meeting due to the uncompromising stance of both parties.
According to the MWUN President-General, “The meeting was deadlocked, so the strike continues.”
When asked to give details of why the meeting was deadlocked, the MWUN President-General declined to speak further, insisting that the meeting is deadlocked and the strike will continue.
However, an impeccable source who attended the meeting revealed to the Nigerian Tribune that inability to agree on the total amount to be paid was the major cause of the deadlock.
“The IOC’s were not willing to pay all the entitlements at once. You know this issue has been on for more than a year now, and the entitlements due to the workers cover that period, and the IOC’s were willing to upset the payment in tranches, but the workers won’t agree. They want the entire payment of over a year due to them paid. That is the reason for the deadlock, but we hope the reconciliation meeting continues maybe tomorrow because we cannot afford to have the ports not working,” the source stated.
When contacted, the General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications, Engr. Adams Jato said that the strike action was skeletal and didn’t affect all port operations.
He disclosed that the authority is mediating between the warring parties and has made considerable progress in ensuring that the dockworkers are paid.
When told that the meeting between the dockworkers and the IOCs was deadlocked, jatto said, “am not aware of that because what I know is that the strike has not taken a full effect on port operations but rather a skeletal area at the quay. We are talking because it’s between the Union, IOCs and NPA so all the issues are being addressed.”
When asked whether it has taken a big toll on the activities of the seaports, he said, ” It’s not a full strike but for them (IOCs) to be aware that the dockworkers needed to be paid and of course we are equally on the same page with the union to ensure that they are paid their money.
“it is not an issue of whether they are ready to pay, but they are bound to pay. They have always been giving us the assurance they will pay but I don’t know what is delaying them because the assurance has always been there from them.”