The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have threatened to begin nationwide strike over unresolved issues with operators and government agencies in the sector with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in support.
The NLC has gone ahead to issue a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government, through the Ministries of Transportation and Labour, starting Monday, March 6th to urgently take action or face nationwide strike.
President of the Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, gave the order in Lagos during a working visit to the national secretariat of the MWUN to proffer solutions on pertinent issues bothering the union.
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Adewale Adeyanju, the President-General of the union briefed him on challenges they face, explaining that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) refused to obey government Marine Notice of 2014 and Extant Stevedoring Regulations.
He said the government had also failed to restore registered onboard ship gangway security and tally men even as he condemned the lack of minimum standard conditions of service for members in the shipping sector as it obtains for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), dock labour and seafarers.
Adeyanju said the government had failed to restore registered onboard ship gangway security and tallymen, condemning the lack of standard conditions of service members.
He said the union had written to the Ministry of Labour since August 2021 but nothing changed.
He noted that the union was waiting for the signature of the national body to embark on the nationwide strike action.
Ajaero lamented saying the Federal Government ignored the effort made by the union for two years, noting that it was time to begin the strike action shutting down the ports.
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He said: “Articulate the bullet points to the Minister of Labour. If it is possible, give them two weeks ultimatum from now because nobody will accuse you of not being patient since 2021 till now.
“As the president of NLC, I don’t have sympathy for anybody for toying with the interest of workers. Show them the letter and shut the port and let the Ministry of Transportation and Labour do their work.
“If they fail to follow suit, we will support you. The people cannot be seen violating the law. Every illegal action requires an illegal response. What the law requires is to be notified but you have sent letters since 2021. There is a need for us to act now.
“We are standing behind you as a labour movement because if there is a union that stands with the NLC, it is MWUN.”
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Photo credit: Getty