Industrial Action : NPA, Shippers’ Council averts total shut down of port operations nationwide * As MWUN President warns against harassment of dockworkers

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Industrial Action : NPA, Shippers’ Council averts total shut down of port operations nationwide

* As MWUN President warns against harassment of dockworkers

By Udeme Clement :

President- General of the Union :

The managements of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Shippers’Council, NSC and other Maritime agencies in Nigeria had averted what would have been a total shut down of port operations in the whole country, following their timely intervention on the nationwide industrial action, planned by Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN.

Recall that MWUN had on Sunday May 10, 2020, issued a 48-hour ultimatum, directing all its members to down- tools and withdraw their services from the nation’s ports, from May 13, 2020.

MWUN under the leadership of Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, as President-General, ordered the nationwide strike, following arrest of 20 dockworkers in Port Harcourt, by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

The arrest and detention of affected dockworkers contravened the Executive Order of Federal Government, directing all ports to be operational, in order to keep the economy afloat despite coronavirus epidemic.

Financial Business News; learnt that these agencies, as well as the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, swiftly intervened on the industrial action, which would have grounded economic activities across the nation’s ports, if it had been carried out as planned.

By their swift intervention, the agencies and all concerned prevented the disasterous consequences such nationwide strike would have brought upon the port industry and the economy at large, considering the challenges facing the country at this critical period of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.

Addressing reporters, Comrade Adeyanju commended the agencies for their immediate intervention and act of patriotism that led to suspension of the strike by MWUN.

His assertion, “We suspended the strike as respected stakeholders in the industry called and intervened on the matter. Most especially the Executive Secretary of Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, NPA, the leadership of NLC, NIMASA, among other organisations”.

He emphasised, “We couldn’t continue dragging ourselves, especially with what is going on in the country. We are a responsible Union and do not just do things without applying wisdom.

“As a responsible Union, we believe in dialogue. So, we told the dockworkers to return to work”.

He pointed out, “The arrested dockworkers have been released and we are still requesting that all charges against them be dropped.

“The dockworkers are not criminals but responsible workers legitimately employed by terminal operators.

“These dockworkers were equally given essential duty pass authorised by NPA management, which shows that they have the right to work in the nation’s ports”.

The President-General warned, “Going forward, our Union would not hesitate to withdraw members from the ports, if any dockworker is harassed again by Rivers State Task Force enforcing COVID-19 lock-down.”

More so, the dockworkers were arrested on May 9, 2020, while on essential duty at PTOL and BUA terminals in Port Harcourt.

The Union under the watch of Comrade Adeyanju, has been working assiduously to protect the rights of workers in Nigeria maritime industry.

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