Segun Oladipupo |
Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a 21- day ultimatum to shipping companies to address some anomalies in their operations, failure which the union threatened to embark on industrial action.
In a release yesterday, the President General of the Union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said that some shipping lines like MSC, MAERSK Line, PIL and MOL have deliberately refused to acquire holding bays for their empty containers, thereby keeping trucks laden with containers on the roads.
According to Adeyanju, this is in total disregard for regulations and standards which provide that a shipping company must have a holding bay before going into operation.
He said, “In consequence, these companies have converted the major express road to their holding bays and packing lots thereby hindering free flow of traffic.
“These shipping companies which include MAERSK LINE, PIL, MSC and MOL deliberately keep the trucks and their laden containers as means of attracting demurrage payment daily from our already over burdened members, truck owners and their drivers.
“They operate along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and do not have holding bays in absolute disregard to regulations and standards which provide that a shipping company must have a holding bay before going operational.
“In consequence, these companies have converted the major express road to their holding bays and packing lots thereby hindering free flow of traffic.
“We are using this medium to call on the Federal Government and State Government to within the next 21 days, call these companies to order and compel them to stop using their private businesses to cause public nuisance.
“If at the end of the 21 days notice, the appropriate government agencies fail to address our demand, the Union shall have no other option than take appropriate and necessary industrial action to protect our members and other road users such as Truck owners, drivers and the public at large”
Earlier, the Union boss stated that “Nigerians, especially Lagosians, are living witnesses to the continuous pains, danger, suffering, and intractable gridlock that heavy duty trucks have been causing over the years on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway with its negative economic consequences. We cannot continue like this”.
“As major stakeholders in the Maritime sector whose members and activities have been negatively affected by the gridlock on the access roads to the ports, especially in Tin-Can and Apapa ports, we have painstakingly studied the causes of the gridlock and have identified the aforementioned shipping companies as responsible for the gridlock.
“As a responsible social partners, we urge all concerned government regulatory agencies to take urgent action and call the aforementioned companies to order, for the betterment of Nigerians, port users and to forestall any action by our members,” he maintained.
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