NPA postpones payment of dockworkers’ severance package as beneficiaries bemoan poor remuneration

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NPA postpones payment of dockworkers’ severance package as beneficiaries bemoan poor remuneration

Segun OLADIPUPO.   |

The payment of severance package for tally clerk and on-board security men slated for Monday, 23rd December, 2019 has been postponed till December30thMonday  2019.

Recall that some dock workers were disengaged in 2015 by the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) following the introduction of cargo surveyors in port operations.

The disengaged workers are yet to be paid their severance packages four years after.

In its efforts to put smiles on the faces of the affected persons, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) intervened through  negotiation methodology for the payment.

As a result, the union  announced on Friday that the payment would commence  Monday  23rd of December, 2019.

But in a fresh twist on Monday, the supposed beneficiaries said they were told to come back another day after spending almost the whole day at the venue.

The President General of MWUN, Com. Adewale Adeyanju told our correspondent that the postponement was due to the need for the names of the beneficiaries to be cross-checked against the names in the list of their employers.

He said the move was necessary to avoid the pitfall of omitting anyone in the course of payment and also to make sure no external factor is allowed into the list.

Adeyanju added that the monies would be disbursed to individual stevedoring companies  that will in turn raise cheques for the disengaged workers  under their organisations, saying the arrangement would make the payment seamless and unambiguous.

However, the aggrieved aged men and women earlier, they had lampooned the management of  NPA and leadership of MWUN for agreeing to the payment of paltry sum of N400,000 even after some had worked for more than twenty years.

They blamed NPA and MWUN for poor negotiation on behalf of the workers, even as they queried what N400,000 could do in the present economy of Nigeria.

Uduak Monday, one of the affected persons said that they were asked to go back home and return on 30th December, 2019 for the exercise.

Asked what informed the change of date, he could not adduce any reason.

Uduak who claimed to have worked with Long Shore Stevedoring company before he was laid off, said the money earmarked for individual was way too small for what he was supposed to get but maintained that he would collect it so that he would not lose out totally.

“I don’t know why the money is N400,000 because for instance, we have been in the system since 2006 and I believe that somebody who has worked for that long is supposed to get more than that amount.

“Whether it is from NPA or the union but I know that something is wrong somewhere; and I want the world to know that we are suffering and that the union who are supposed to be fighting for the workers are fighting for themselves.

Also speaking, Emmanuel Adewale Adegbite from Blue Ocean said that after one year of verification, the plan for the payment was shoddy.

“The last meeting we held, we were told to assemble here today and now I borrowed money to be here sitting outside here in hunger.

Henry Ladipo who claimed to have put in over twenty years of experience before he was severed wondered why such a stipend should be his take home after such a long time of service.

He stated further that they were left incommunicado by leadership of the union and management of NPA over their fate.

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