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NPA, maritime workers in a closed door meeting to resolve ongoing strike

NPA, maritime workers

As part of efforts to resolve the ongoing nationwide strike, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) are presently in a closed door meeting to resolve the ongoing indefinite industrial action by the workers.

BusinessDay gathered that the workers may be convinced after the meeting to suspend the ongoing strike action.

Recall that at 6a.m today, Wednesday July 3, 2019, all operations at the nation’s seaport terminals were suspended as MWUN began an indefinite industrial action to compel the payment of wages owed dockworkers and stevedoring companies by the international oil companies (IOCs).

Adam Jatto, general manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication of the NPA, said the agency is aware of the MWUN strike threat and are engaging them.

According to him, the authority is optimistic that the issues would be addressed and resolved amicably and the strike averted.

“We are actually on it, we are having discussion with them (the union) and unionism is about dialogue so we believe we will be able to strike a dialogue before the end of today,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the ongoing discussion will bring forth positive result from today.

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According to Adeyanju, president general of MWUN the issue of unpaid wages has lingered for over a year and, “enough is enough. The IOCs need to respect the laws of the land. These people are denying us our rights by failing to pay our wages.”

He commended Hadiza Bala-Usman, managing director of the NPA, for her efforts to rally the IOCs operating offshore and onshore Nigeria’s territorial waters, adding, however, that some workers have died from situations directly and indirectly connected to the unpaid wages.

Earlier in a letter forewarning of the industrial action, titled, “Non-payment of Stevedoring Wages due to Dockworkers by International Oil Companies (IOCs),” MWUN vowed that it would no longer watch members die prematurely due to the attitude of the IOCs.

“We want to use this medium to intimate you, and the Federal Government, of the non-payment of stevedoring wages to dockworkers by the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria,” the letter reads.

“We are aware that on June 1, 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,” the letter added.