Port congestion looms as maritime workers join nationwide strike.


Segun Oladipupo/Abiola Segun

Barring last minute capitulation by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Sunday has declared that it would shut down the ports across the country in line with nationwide strike taking effect from today, Monday, 28th September, 2020.

The declaration is in line with the Organised Labour’s plan to embark on nationwide strike and mass protest against recent hike in fuel pump price and electricity bills.

At the outcome of the meeting of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) the National Executive Council (NEC), ratified the decision of the Central Working Committee (CWC).

NLC also directed state councils to intensify mobilization of workers and other Nigerians preparatory for the strike scheduled to start today, Monday, September 28th, 2020.

But the maritime union on Sunday told our correspondent that members will join the strike action ,thus all port activities will be placed on hold.

As a result, there is expected to be congestion in the ports across the country except the Federal Government seeks ways to stop the strike without delay.

President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju reiterated that members would assemble at its National Secretariat in Lagos for a brief meeting before proceeding to the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports respectively to monitor compliance.

Adeyanju stated that other seaports in other parts of the country would as well be shut down in line with the directives from the national leadership of the labour organisation.

“All seaports in the country including Warri, Calabar, Sapele, Port Harcourt, Onne and Lagos will be shutdown in solidarity of NLC demands,” he stated.

Speaking to journalists, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said he has started mobilising his members to halt port activities starting from today.

He disclosed that all its branches, districts and unit heads have been mobilised to ensure total compliance with the NLC directive.

“We are part and parcel of the NLC so we will comply fully with the directives. We belong to the National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC, so we are a very important member of NLC so, the seaports all over the country will be shut totally from Monday morning and our officers have been mobilized to ensure compliance.

“This is a fight for the wellbeing of Nigeria and Nigerians and there is no going back,”
declared an official of MWUN, who did not want his identity disclosed because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Recall that in addition to MWUN, other unions including the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the Joint Action Front (JAF), Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), and aviation unions, among others, have declared their interest to join in the strike.

© 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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