Port Workers agree to call off strike


By Abiodun OBA

Following the intervention of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in the strike embarked upon by port workers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the Union has agreed to call off their strike.

The decision was contained in a communique signed by Rt. Hon Emmanuel Jime ES/CEO, NSC, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, PG, MWUN and Mr. Ascanio Russo SCAFFEA on Monday June 5, 2023.

In the communique issued at the end of meeting between the NSC, MWUN, shipping companies/agencies, Freight Forwarders Employers Association at the NSC training room in Lagos on Monday, the parties expressed commitment for sincere negotiations on the Minimum Standard of Condition of Service in the Industry.

The parties also agreed to a timeline of One (I) Month starting from Monday 5th June 2023 to 4th July 2023 for completion of the negotiations.

The parties finally agreed to establish an acceptable Minimum Standards on the Condition of Service in the Shipping Industry especially on gratuity.

Recall, workers under the aegis of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) shut down Lagos ports on Monday over poor remuneration of its members from the Shipping companies operating in Nigeria.

As a result of the strike action, port users on Monday resumed to the port and found out that Maersk Line offices, Five Star Logistics and other Shipping Companies offices across the port area have been shut by the protesting workers.

The union are protesting against the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) the parent body of all foreign shipping lines in Nigeria for disregarding directives of the Federal Government and failing to increase workers welfare for the past six years.

The Union warned that the strike action would be total as the three other branches of the union namely, Dockworkers, Seafarers and NPA Branch are joining the strike as a mark of solidarity.

President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, lamented that the port economic regulator; Nigerian Shippers Council, has totally lost its control and regulatory powers over the shipping companies who have refused to obey the federal government interventions on the matter.

According to him, the matter has been dragging on for the past six years and the shipping companies have refused to implement a minimum standard for shipping companies’ workers.

“Several ultimatums have been issued to the shipping companies. The union is requesting a minimum standard for shipping workers.

“The former Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo had directed the Nigerian Shippers Council to midwife the process between MWUN and Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN)

“There has been meeting upon meeting at the instance of the Executive Secretary of the Shippers Council, but the attitude of the shipping companies is nothing to write home about.

“Yesterday, they were at the meeting, and it did not go well. This is an embarrassment to us and even the Ministry of Transportation who initiated the idea.

“As it is, the remuneration in the Shipping sector is like a death sentence. The SAN are running away from their responsibility,” he had said.

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