Maritime workers give 14-day ultimatum over non-payment of wages to dockworkers

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Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to prevail on International Oil Companies (IOCs) to pay stevedoring contractors appointed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the charges due to dockworkers at the nation’s ports.

The union in a statement made available in Lagos on Thursday, threatened that if after 14 days the government failed to prevail on the IOCs, it members would withdraw their services and all seaports nationwide would be shut.

Signed by Adewale Adeyanju, president general of MWUN, and Felix Akingboye, secretary general, the statement said despite several meetings, the IOCs had refused to grant access to the stevedoring contractors, process their invoices and effect payment as directed by the NPA, one year after the stevedoring contractors were appointed.

The union said it could no longer continue to watch it members die prematurely because of the defiant attitude of the IOCs.

“We are aware that on 1st June 2018, the NPA appointed stevedoring contractors to provide stevedoring services at various off –shore, jetties and on-shore locations to the International oil services and other operators.

“We commend the managing director of the NPA for the effort NPA made to compel the IOCs to engage the services of appointed stevedores and registered dockworkers in their stevedoring operations. But, unfortunately, the operators have refused to comply with the NPA directive after one year that the stevedoring contractors were appointed,” the statement read.

According to the workers, the position of the operators on the NPA directive is worrisome and very surprising because the same operators had processed and paid the former stevedoring contractors since 2010 through a foremost terminal operator.

“Why are they refusing to cooperate with the newly appointed stevedoring contractors since the modus operandi remains the same?

“In …