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We won’t go back to work, striking dockworkers tell Shippers’ Council 

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Abiola Seun Striking dockworkers protesting against APM Terminals, Apapa over Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), has refused to return to work despite the intervention of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting with the Shippers’ Council, the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, disclosed that the Executive Secretary of the Council was at the union headquarters to discuss the strike action and possible ways of resolving it.According to Adeyanju, the union informed the Shippers’ Council’s boss that unless APM Terminals calls for a meeting on the CBA, the strike action would continue.He said, “The strike is still on. We are yet to resume. The NSC Executive Secretary just came as a statesman in the industry to see how he can broker peace between us and APM Terminals.

“But, the strike action is still on. We are yet to reconvene to decide whether we will be calling off the strike infact, the terminal operator has not even been encouraging.”“The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has been on this issue for the past three days, but the terminal operator has been adamant.
“They (APM Terminals) are even telling us that is it NPA that will pay workers their salaries?” He continued, “What they cannot accept in their own country, they are doing it to us here. When impunity is the order of the day, this is what happens. It’s such a shame that APM Terminals has no regard for constituted authority,” he said.Meanwhile, with the strike action extending into its second day, clearing agents have lamented accumulated charges on trapped cargoes.The Chairman, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC), Chief Osita Chukwu, explained that the enormity of the strike is yet to dawn on cargo owners until it is finally called off.Chukwu said, “All the meetings that is being held now is centred on calling off of the strike. Nobody is talking about the charges that is accumulating.
“Demurrage and storage charges are there, nobody is talking about them, everybody is concerned about calling off the strike, however, by the time the strike is called off, the enormity of the charges that has accumulated will now dawn on everybody.”“By that time, another round of agitation will now be on who is going to pay such charges? We just hope that the terminal operator will waive storage charges 100 percent.
” We already know the shipping companies won’t waive demurrages, but if the terminal operator can waive storage charges, then the effect won’t be too hard on the importers,” he stated.

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