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Maritime workers threaten to shut down ports nationwide in Nigeria

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a nationwide strike threat scheduled for Tuesday, January 9th.

The proposed strike aims to shut down all seaports, jetties, as well as oil and gas platforms across the country.

In a statement released on Wednesday, John Ikemefuna, the union’s head of media, conveyed the decision on behalf of the President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju.
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The action stems from the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Stevedoring Contractors’ consistent refusal to adhere to the Stevedoring extant laws concerning the Union’s interests.

The statement specified that the Union had given a three-day notice to the Nigerian Ports Authority, beginning Thursday, before considering the strike as an inevitable option.

Expressing dissatisfaction, the Union highlighted the persistent non-compliance of IOCs with the extant stevedoring regulations since 2018.

Additionally, it emphasised the IOCs’ ongoing violation of remittance of Union check-off dues, despite numerous attempts to address these issues with the Nigerian Ports Authority, which have proven futile.

“Recall that the Union had written a series of letters, press releases, ultimatums, and marine notices given by NIMASA and several ministerial orders; all these were serially ignored by the management of the NPA.

The most recent was dated June 13, 2023, with ref. no. MWUN/MD/NPA/SC/U/1.23, over duly signed communiques spanning over three years,” the statement said.

“The Union is, however, using this medium to demand the total compliance of IOCs with the stevedoring regulations in line with the communiqués signed by all the relevant stakeholders in the sector.

“The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), as a master stevedore and industry regulator, is wholly saddled with the responsibility of granting operational licences to stevedoring companies to provide stevedoring services for designated IOCs in Nigeria.

“The NPA also has the enduring duty to use its oversight and regulatory authority to ensure respect for law and regulations in the dealings of the International Oil Companies (IOCs), who make use of the services of the stevedoring companies; and, by extension, Members of the Maritime Workers Union as Workers in (IOCs) employ.

“However, it’s saddening that the NPA has abdicated its sole responsibility by allowing the IOCs to run an unimaginable riot without control in the sector.

“As a responsible social partner and a union that operates strictly in line with extant regulations, MWUN has since 2018 severally brought to the NPA’s attention the refusal of the IOCs to honour the provisions of the extant stevedoring regulations and the continued violation of the remittance of union check-off dues in line with the extant stevedoring regulations.

“As a bridge of the extant stevedoring laws stated, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria will shut down the seaports nationwide on Tuesday, 9th, 2024, after the expiration of the three (3) work days already given to NPA commencing on January 4th, 2024,” the statement said.
Source: Nigerian Tribune

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