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Maritime workers threaten nationwide strike

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has issued a nationwide strike threat scheduled for Tuesday, January 9th, to disrupt operations at seaports, jetties, and 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.

The impending strike arises from the consistent refusal of International Oil Companies and Stevedoring Contractors to adhere to the extant Stevedoring 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 an inevitable option.

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

Additionally, it emphasized the ongoing violation of remittance of Union check-off dues by IOCs, despite numerous attempts to address these issues with the NPA, which have proven futile.

The statement read, “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 union demanded the total compliance of IOCs with the stevedoring regulations in line with communiqués signed by relevant stakeholders in the sector. It criticized the NPA for allowing IOCs to operate without control, shirking its regulatory responsibility.

“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 honor 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,” the statement continued.

“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) workdays already given to NPA commencing on January 4th, 2024.”

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