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Maritime workers union warn Shipping companies against ill- treatment of Nigerian workers

Segun Oladipupo

The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has warned Shipping companies operating in Nigeria to stop hiding under the guise of COVID-19 to deny workers of their welfare packages.

He gave the warning at the maiden Seminar/award presentation organised by the Shipping Branch Women Wing of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) in Lagos on Thursday.

The President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his opening remark, challenged the employers to make sure that what belongs to workers are given to them.

Fuming, Adeyanju said that workers in the sector were ill-treated, saying some workers in shipping companies have been stagnated at a level for eight to ten years without promotion.

As a result, he said the union had renewed its suspended ultimatum for the shipping companies to negotiate a new working condition for workers.

While inviting them for negotiation, he stated that the usual 5 or 2 percent annual increament given by shipping companies in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is no longer acceptable.

“I challenge SAN to give what is due to the workers. We will go out there to make sure that the rights of workers are given to them

“They believe impunity is the order of the day in shipping where a worker will be in one position for 8 to 10 years.

“The union is using this medium to say we have renewed our ultimatum, they should call us. Retirement in shipping is like death sentence.

“Somebody is putting 40 years into service in Nigeria and the take home is nothing to write home about. Our lives must not be mortgaged by some employers who have no respect for workers, the welfare of the workers should be improved upon.

“We are not going to accept 5 percent increase or 2 percent anymore because it is a virus. The 2 or 5 percent is not encouraging the workers. You should be talking about 40 percent. Enough is enough.

“This is an opportunity to reemphasize our call for condition of service in shipping subsector where their remuneration is not well encouraged.

“I want to commend the president of shipping who has made sure that CBA for shipping workers is done every year.

He commended women for taking their rights of place in the male dominated maritime industry.

“Without women, this country won’t be where with is today because they have contributed a lot to its development

“Maritime has been a male dominated industry for a long time. Women’s diligence and efficiency is giving them avenue to take up top positions in the industry

“I want to appreciate the women for organising this program. I appreciate the managers of industries for being here because it means they value the workers.”

Also speaking, Shipping branch president, Ekpeyong Ekpeyong expressed satisfaction with leadership of the women wing of the branch for their laudable initiative of hosting the women in management positions in the sector for appreciation of their numerous contributions to the development of the industry.

He said the theme of the seminar would have tremendous impact on the female unionists.

He said, “Personally, I feel it is a mixed impact, negative and positive because by fulfilling those roles, a woman develops some qualities, strengths and sense of accomplishment.

“But what happens when she is not able to handle the roles due to imbalance and some demanding situation both at work and home such as child care, work load and work place bullying?

“This should be a food for thought to agitate our minds towards the predicaments of the female workforce who face limited window of opportunities to reach leadership positions,” he stated

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