By Oluwabunmi Ogunjimi
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, may resort to industrial action against the International Oil Companies, IOCs, jetties and other employers of stevedoring services for allegedly flouting government directives on Stevedoring regulations issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
The alleged disregard of the directives, according to them, has denied registered dockworkers legitimate employment.
The union, in a statement, named other affected employers to include Jetties, bonded terminals, inland container depots, ICDs, off dock terminals, dry ports and platforms, insisting that it is being pushed to the wall and will be forced to take appropriate industrial action.
They also said the action will take effect any moment from now if the affected employers refuse to comply with the NIMASA notice No. 106 as well as the associated Stevedoring regulation of 2014.
MWUN’s President-General, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, in the statement, said, “Government notice No. 106 as well as the associated Stevedoring regulation 2014 are operational guidelines issued by NIMASA to all dock labour employers and private operators of any work location including Ports, Jetties, Onshore or Offshore Oil and Gas or bonded terminals, inland container depots (ICDs), off dock terminals, dry ports and platforms.
“We have noticed with dismay that some of the stakeholders mentioned above have continued to flout this government directive by their blatant refusal to grant the government appointed and NIMASA registered stevedores and dock workers access to the operational areas allocated to them by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
“This is not acceptable to us as we cannot seat back, fold our arms and watch our members being disallowed to perform their statutory duties that fetch them their daily bread.
“We therefore want to use this medium to sound a note of warning to the affected stakeholders that continue to flout government directive with impunity and expose our members to untold hardship and suffering to retrace their steps in the interest of industrial peace. They should in the interest of peace allow the government approved and NIMASA registered stevedores and dockworkers access without hindrance to the operational areas government allocated to them to perform their legitimate duties.
“As a union, we have been pushed to the wall and our patient is being pushed beyond limit. We will not hesitate to bite to defend the rights of our members as guaranteed by extant regulations and laws.
“We however wish to applaud the Director General, NIMASA – Dr. Bashir Jamoh, for the numerous successes recorded in his first 100 days in office. The energy and spate of innovation he has brought into the Agency is a pointer to many laudable achievements in the pipeline.
“We also want to acknowledge and commend the commitment of the Managing Director of NPA – Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, for what she is doing in the Authority, among which include the payment of severance package to the erstwhile Tally Clerks and On – Board ship gang way security men, the drastic face lift of decayed infrastructure in NPA etc.
“We wish once again to express gratitude to stakeholders such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Management led by Ms Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, Management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) led by Dr Bashir Jamoh and the Chairperson of the Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria (STOAN) Princess Vicky Haastrup, for creating conducive work environment for our members.”