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MWUN unionises, inaugurates barge operators.

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Segun Oladipupo

The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Friday inaugurated a newly unionised barge operators as new members of the union.

The barge workers, operating in 22 viable jetties and 14 catchment areas spanning from Festac, Apapa, Iddo and Lekki with over 70 members, have been said to form a quorum for two units.

The chairman of the coordinating committee, Comrade Tonye Harry, who doubles as Deputy President General of MWUN, shortly before the inauguration of the workers, stated that thorough exercise was carried out with the constitution of the union serving as a guide.

“Just three weeks ago, the PG set up this committee to look into the affairs of the maritime barge operators and immediately the committee was set up,we want into action.

“We have had several meetings with the operators within the axis and we have agreed with them that there should be maritime barge operating units.

“This action is in tandem with rule two of our Constitution which states that one of the aims and objectives of the union is to secure unionisation of eligible workers within the jurisdictional scope of Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria as stipulated by the Trade Union amendment Decree 4 of 1999.

“So, having recognised this rule, we met with them at several meetings and we have been able to coordinate the operators to say that for now, to say 22 jetties within that axis are viable and the catchment area are about 14 and these 14 areas are located between Festac, Apapa, Iddo and Lekki area,not counting those jetties situated within the port axis.

“We have also realised that the operators are about seventy in number which means we can unionise them and they can at least form two units for them to commence operations.

While assuring the new members of the union’s support, the President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju called on them to maintain due diligence in the discharge of their duties even to other members of the union.

Adeyanju added that several options were weighed before the union took the decision to absorb the barge operators.

According to him, he is confident the new workers fall under the jurisdiction of MWUN.

He said, “I am assuring you that this union will give you necessary supports in-line with the constitution to operate successfully

“If you manage it well, you will become large but what always brings crisis, is lack of sincerity of purpose. The chairman must remember that you have executives at your back, you all must be one.

“Before we organised you to be our members, we have weighed all options and I believe that barge operations fall within the scope of my jurisdiction and that is what we are about to enjoy as from this moment.

“Money is the root of all evil, if you put the love of money in your heart anywhere you are working, you are bound to fail and you will lose tracks,” he admonished them.

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