Anxiety heightens as Terminal Operator sacks workers over Covid-19 pandemic

Abiola Seun/Segun Oladipupo

There was a palpable tension among the staff of terminal operators operating at the nation’s seaports as the concessionaires  have resorted to sacking their workers in a bid to cope with the economic adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
On the heels of this staff rationalization was the sacking by Josepdam Ports Services (JPS) of not less than 20 of its staff and scrapping of a whole commercial department.
Josepdam Terminal is the operator  of Terminal A at the Tincan Island Ports Complex.
It also operates three berths totaling 484 meters in length. Josepdam also serves as a multipurpose terminal and her business activities include cargo discharge and handling, Ports Management and warehousing.
Recall that the concessionaire donated a whooping N60,000,000 to the Federal Government in the fight against COVID19 pandemic recently.
Our correspondent gathered that some terminals also carried out similar staff rationalization exercise discreetly.
Insider sources had disclosed that  among those affected are three managers and two senior executives.
According to the usually authoritative source among  those affected were commercial manager; Human Resource Manager; Senior Accountant; Business Development Manager and Audit Manager.
The source stated further that everyone in the company is living in fear as plans of fresh sack looms in the company.
Her words, “13 other junior staff were sacked on the 15th of June but reinstated by the intervention of the President- General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Com. Adewale Adeyanju.”
He continued, “we are living in fear.” He continued, ” we are not sure of the cause of the sack while some called it restructuring, others said it’s due to Covid-19, but all is not well in Josepdam anymore,” the source hinted.
According our sources, the actual reason for the downsizing was the effect of covid on the terminal but the terminal was said to have hidden under the guise that the commercial department’ was no longer relevant.
One of the sources who does not want his name in print said the decision to sack some of the workers was reached by the  new management board of the terminal in a view to cutting overhead cost.
The workers dismissal, it was gathered took effect from the beginning of June 2020, even as some departments  were allegedly scrapped due to  docile  contribution to the growth of the company.
With three berths of 13.5 meters at her disposal, JSP has the capacity to accommodate 45,000 metric tonnes of ships.
Speaking with Deputy Secretary General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria  (MWUN), in charge of Training, Education, Research and Media, Comrade Sunday Oniha, he said he was not sure if any of the union members was affected in the exercise.
He said he was aware that the terminal laid off some management staff even as he admitted that the commercial department was pulled down by management decision.
Effort to get the reaction of the terminal operator proved abortive as text messages sent to the Managing Director, Simon Travers were not responded as at the time of filing this report.

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