By Oluwabunmi Ogunjimi
THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and the National Joint Industrial Council, have commenced moves to ensure a seamless welfare packages including renumeration for dockworkers across the country.
Giving this assurance recently in Lagos, NIMASA’s Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Victor Ochei said that a revised minimum wage and improved living standard for dockworkers through the Collective Bargaining Agreement initiative endorsed by NIMASA and NJIC in 2018.
Ochei, who is also doubled as Chairman of NJIC, commended the efforts of the dockworkers to keep the maritime industry afloat, despite the COVID-19 pandemic adding that NIMASA was determined to ensure the dockworkers got what was due to them.
Ochei stated: “Dockworkers are integral to efficient and effective stevedoring operation and the NJIC has remained resolute in ensuring harmonious working relationships through the principle of tripartism and the execution of Collective Bargaining Agreements on minimum standards for the dock labour industry.”
He urged NJIC members’ cooperation with NIMASA so as to ensure that a meaningful negotiations that would culminate in the signing of another CBA.
He added that the success of the exercise would further demonstrate Nigeria’s compliance and commitment to the ideals of the ILO Decent Work Agenda, which seeks to promote safe work, decent wage, and freedom of association.
Similarly, representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Mrs. Joyce Udoinwang, expressed the Ministry’s commitment to the welfare of dockworkers, assuring of its resolve to ensure no dockworker in Nigeria is short-changed and appealed for more cooperation from all the parties involved in the tripartite agreement.
In his remarks, President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, also commended NIMASA for midwifing the CBA, saying it has ensured industrial harmony and peace in the maritime industry. Adeyanju disclosed that the NJIC would reconvene in the next few weeks to deliberate and agree on new wages for dockworkers. He called for the cooperation of the terminal operators and employers of dock labour to ensure the attainment of the Decent Work Agenda.
So far so good, the terminal operators and employers of dock labour are doing their best, but so much can still be done to better the welfare of their workers,” Adeyanju said.