Dockworkers issue seven-day ultimatum to terminal operator over non provision of  safety gears admist #COVID-19 

Segun Oladipupo

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has given the management of Port and Terminal Operators Limited (PTOL) a seven-day ultimatum during which to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for dockworkers in its Terminal  or risk the wrath of  the Union.
The ultimatum  took effect from Friday, 7th May, 2020.
The union expressed displeasure over non compliance by the Port concessionaire with the requisite measures to contain further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In  a statement made available to our correspondent , the union threatened that the dockworkers in the terminal shall be made to withdraw their services in case the operators failed to comply within the period of the ultimatum.
In a letter signed by the Assistant Secretary General of the Dockworkers branch, Comrade Louis Agbi, the union called on the terminal operators to heed the warning of the Union.
Agbi said , ”COVID-19 Pandemic is a present and real threat, decimating

live increasingly, nationally and globally.

“Measures have been put in place by the Federal Governnent and all health
agencies to delimit as much as humanly possible its spread.

“These measures have béen put in the public space for all to see and abide with and include provision of hand gloves, safety helmets, face masks, sanitizers, overalls, safety
boots, soap and water to dockworkers who are at the frontlines, working to enșure the economy runs.

“It is therefore with serious uneasiness that we learnt of your non provision of PPE for our members who are dockworkers in your terminal despite the fact of your awareness of the exposure they face each time they come to work.

“We view this as gross negligence and indifference to the health and safety of
our members in the face of the ravages of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“It seems your only interest is economic and capital accumulation.

“As a responsible Union, the health and safety of our members is of paramount priority and we expect that they are protected at all cost, especially in this perlious tirme.

“Therefore, we wish to strongly draw your attention to the fact that the provision of PPE for Dockworkers is a standard requirement
for terminal operations and not a privilege.

“Consequent to the foregoing, I am directed to put you on notice for Seven (7) days ultimatum starting from the date of this letter within which period you are expected to provide our
members- Dockworkers PPEs, to enable their safety and protection while at work

“While we strongly urge you to listen to good reason, please note that in the event of your failure to provide PPEs for our members, the Union will have no choice but to withdraw the
services of our members from your terminal indefinitely without any recourse to further dialogue,” he stated.

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