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Retirement benefits: Shipping sector in Nigeria under siege – MWUN raises alarm

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Segun Oladipupo

The President General of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju has lamented the poor retirement benefits of shipping companies personnel and their conditions of service which he said were virtually non-existent.

The MWUN boss stated this at the Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Shipping,Clearing and Forwarding Agencies Branch of MWUN in Lagos on Wednesday.

The election which saw the re-emergence of Ekpeyong Ekpeyong and his executives as President and Executives respectively of the branch for another four years term unopposed.

The smooth transition from one administration to another is first of its kind in the history of the union.

Adeyanju fumed that the shipping sector in Nigeria is under siege.

He maintained that records have showed that members of the union in the shipping sector have over the years been underpaid and overworked.

As a result, the union has called for an overhaul of the remuneration system currently operative in the shipping sector.

” I also want to quickly use this medium to call on members of the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) to urgently institute the process for upward review of the very poor retirement benefit of shipping companies personnel and their condition of service which is virtually non-existent.

“Comrades, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the shipping sector is under siege, I dare say this because records show that our members in the shipping sector have over the years been underpaid and overworked.

“This must be stopped now. I am therefore requesting for an overhaul of the remuneration system currently operative in the shipping sector.

“Another problem in this sector is the issue of outsourcing of jobs such as security, accounting, human resources, operations etc which ordinarily can be efficiently handled by Nigerians but are contracted out this, throwing very qualified Nigerians into the labour market to their detriment and growing the unemployment market.

“We see this practice as against the principle of local content as canvassed by the federal government”

Earlier, Comrade Ekpeyong Ekpeyong, presidyent of the shipping,clearing and forwarding agencies workers branch stated that his administration achieved an above-average performance in their core responsibilities despite the deteriorating harsh economic conditions and the negative impact on the costs of doing business in the maritime industry coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlighting his achievements, he maintained that he has achieved the following; appreciable upward review of Workers’Union of service in the industry through yearly plant by plant Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations inspite of the retrogressive attitude of some employers who continue to work against Workers’progress.

Improved redundancy package as a guide in the industry, drastic reduction in number of casual/contract workers, introduction of annual education allowance with ongoing efforts to replicate it in the industry.

Others are: unionisation of workers of the the following companies: GMT Shipoing and Logistics, Sinoma Cargo International Ltd, among others

In terms of review of shipping industry conditions of service, both parties resolved at a meeting held in 2020 that shipping industry’s condition of service be reviewed for adequate remuneration and better take-home packages including the following: retirement age, terminal benefits/mode of gratuity, high rate of taxation and international training support.

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