Maritime workers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), on Tuesday, issued a 21-days ultimatum to shipping companies over their failure to review the existing terminal benefits being paid to its members.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Jack W. Langrishe, and copies made available to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and other maritime stakeholders, the maritime workers lamented the inability of the Shipping Association of Nigeria to review industry condition of service for End of Service payment, Redundancy payment, Retirement Benefit and Gratuity scheme.
According to the letter with reference number MWUN/C/SAN/DN/2020, which was signed by the MWUN Secretary-General, Mr Felix Akingboye, “Our letter with Ref. No. MWUN/SB/RICS/2019 dated 22nd May 2019 captioned ‘Review of Industry Condition of Service namely End of Service/Redundancy/Retirement Benefits and Gratuity Scheme which was received in your office same day'(ie 22/5/2019) refers:
“In our letter under reference, the proposal was made for a meeting of your association and the Union to hold between 10th -14th June 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 the 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 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 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.
“We also demand that you evacuate all your empty containers that are parked indiscriminately, causing the gridlock on the access roads to the ports.”