The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a 7-day ultimatum, which began from Thursday 17th of February 2023, for shipping companies to sign a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the workers or face withdrawal of services.
President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju stated this on Friday in a press conference at the union’s secretariat in Apapa, Lagos.
Adeyanju stated that it is unfortunate that the employers of labour in the shipping companies have been unwilling to meet with the union to negotiate the welfare package of the workers.
According to Comrade Adeyanju, other branches under the union have an existing CBA with their employers, but the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) is trying to dodge responsibility by asking the workers to go and discuss individually with their employers.
“What we are saying is that there should be a minimum standard for the shipping workers as obtainable with the dockworkers and seafarers. If you look at what is going on in the shipping companies, the workers are not well remunerated”
“If anybody is going on retirement, it is like a death sentence. This is what I have been saying over the years. We have declared a state of emergency in the shipping sector, but this time around we have said that enough is enough. We must have a minimum standard in the shipping sector”
“The shipping companies are investors, they came to invest in Nigeria and the workers too should be empowered. They must improve in their remuneration of workers,” the MWUN President-General said.
He observed that such agreement is not a new thing in the industry, noting that negotiations with individual workers and their employers have already held.
“We have been on this matter for the past four years and all the necessary regulatory agencies are well informed about it, including the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC),” he explained.