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Labour Threatens Shut down of Nigerian Ports Over Poor Workers Welfare

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has thrown it’s weight behind Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to shut down Nigeria’s ports and terminals over lingering unresolved workers welfare issues with operators and government agencies in the maritime industry.

President of the NLC, Comrade Joseph Ajaero who expressed total support for MWUN said this during a visit to MWUN the labour body will secretariat in Lagos, said labour will not sit and watch while workers rights are trampled upon by employers.

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Ajaero directed that MWUN write the Ministries of Labour and Transportation and to issue two weeks ultimatum over the myriads of issues saying failure to take action, the labour union 2oukf picket the industry.

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MWUN had explained that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) refused to obey government Marine Notice of 2014 and Extant Stevedoring Regulations.

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He added that the government also refused to pay aged seafarers monthly pension inspire of court ruling.

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He further added that the government had failed to restore registered onboard ship gangway security and tally men

He faulted the alleged lack of minimum standard condition of service for members in the shipping sector as it obtained for the Nigerian Ports Authority, Dock Labour and Seafarers.

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Adeyanju said the union had written to the Ministry of Labour since August 2021 and lanented that nothing has been done even up till the present time.

In his response, the NLC president said that he has no sympathy for any employer who did not have the interest of the workers at heart, even as he asked the maritime union leaders to issue two weeks ultimatum to the ministries of Labour and Transportation and thereafter shut the port if their demands were not met.

According to him, the national labour union would provide adequate supports to the union to shut the port.

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

“I as the president of NLC, I don’t have sympathy for anybody for toying with 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 illegal response. What the law requires is to be notified but you have sent letters since 2021.

“There is 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.

What I want to hear is action because we have suffered.”

As a result, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju promised that the union would spring into action with immediate effect.

Adeyanju stated that he was not as gentle as he might seem when it comes.to welfare of workers.

He maintained that the signature of the national body is what the union has been waiting for to take the long-awaited action.

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Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600, hubitokoria@gmail.com

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