THE National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) on Tuesday signed the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the increment of dock workers’ wages at the nation’s seaports.
NJIC is the body responsible for negotiating and review of minimum standards for dock labour at the nation’s ports.
The agreement was reached at the inaugural meeting of the NJIC at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos on Tuesday.
The meeting presided over by the Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Mr Gambo Ahmed, who is also the chairman of the council, noted that the dock workers have improved in their capacity, reinstating the agency’s commitment to the welfare of dock workers in the maritime industry.
He added that the welfare of the dock workers would impact a lot on the ports industry and also, in turn, the entire economy
Speaking also at the signing of the CBA, the President General of the Nigerian Maritime Workers Union (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said with the agreement, dock workers have all reason to smile home at the end of the month.
In his words “With this agreement, there is a structure put in place by the stakeholders here today. So if the dock workers are going home now, they know they are going home with something better.
“Unlike in the past where dock workers are just picked on the roads and given whatever payment. However, with this structure put in place, I think the dock workers have every reason to smile home.”
The Chairman Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrupp said the Collective Bargaining Agreement will spur the dock workers to perform better as the welfare of the dock workers is well catered for in the agreement.
“This agreement I believe will spur the dock workers to perform better than they have always done because this agreement actually takes care of the wages and the condition of service of dock workers in Nigeria. It will also improve the quality of life of the dock workers.
“The port in Nigeria was concessioned in the year 2006 and the average income of dock workers then was N5000, which I find ridiculous because N5000 will not pay their transport fare, not to talk about paying for their everyday expenses.
” And since the port in Nigeria was concessioned, the terminal operators have as a matter of duty increased the salary and condition of service of dock workers every two years,” she said.