By Okezie Nnadi
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN is to issue a two weeks strike action ultimatum on the 6th of March 2023 if Federal Government is still adamant to its two year’s complaints of refusal to pay seaferes all their monthly entitlements.
This statement was issued by the president general of the union Comrade Adewale Adeyanju on Friday at the union secretariat during a working visit by the President of Nigerian Labour Congress NLC Comrade Joe Ajaero to the union secretariat at Osho Drive in Apapa Lagos.
The NLC President, Comrade, Joe Ajaero assured the union of its full support hence federal government is still unfeeling.
His words” issue a two-week ultimatum to federal government, noted that ageing seafarers needs to be paid their monthly pension, as granted by the court”.
This threat is coming on the issues of the International Oil Companies, IOCs, refusing to obey Government’s Marine Notice 106 of 2014, as well as Extant Stevedoring Regulations on payment of desiring workers. Issuing the directive to the leadership of the MWUN during his visit as part of his continuation tour of the affiliate unions of the Congress in Lagos and Ogun states.
The NLC President expressed displeasure in the treatment workers are receiving from government by refusing to engage in labour negotiations.
His words ,”it is unheard-of, that the Union had written to government to pay the seafarers since 2021 and three years down the line, the payment has not be been made, stressing that the only solution in sight, is for the union to speak the language government can hear”.
“The Ministry has disobeyed the law and it is illegal to do so. It is illegal to do that and it requires an illegal action”, he stated
The Comrade lauded the Maritime Union for sanitizing the dockworkers’ sector, stressing that before now, the sector was marred in deep crisis. He said, the Union in the maritime sector has been transformed to the admiration of all, urging the leadership to continue to keep the pace. “The Union has waged a lot of struggles to be where they are now,” he stated.
He assured the maritime union that NLC will set up a picketing committee that will invade any employer from the private and government sectors who fail to adhere strictly to the law of the land adding that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); and Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) should address issues bothering workers welfare, port regulations and delay in the payment of pensions for the aged seafarers amongst many other challenges raised by the leadership of MWUN.
However, Adeyanju had lamented that the port lacks an economic regulator adding that the terminal operators are not properly regulated thus affecting progress of port operations, mostly as it affects checks and balances .
He called on the leadership of NLC to intervene and join the struggle in furtherance to ensure workers get their deserved benefits.
Adeyanju who is also the newly elected Deputy President Nigeria Labour Congress still lamented that NIMASA is yet to provide the much talked about Seafarers Identification Documents (SID) for years , the apex maritime regulatory Agency has not yielded positive response