Terminal operators sign agreement to enhance welfare of dockworkers
Terminal Operators under the aegis of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) have signed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to enhance the welfare of dockworkers at the nation’s ports.
Since the ports were concessioned in 2006, STOAN has been improving the welfare of dockworkers, by ensuring the renewal and implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement every three years.
The latest agreement, which was signed recently at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) headquarters in Lagos, would lead to an increase in wages, allowances and retirement benefits payable to dockworkers and would be operational for three years.
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Vicky Haastrup, chairman of STOAN, who led other members of STOAN to sign the agreement with the union, said terminal operators have ensured industrial harmony at ports since 2006 by prioritising the welfare of dockworkers.
“Formerly, the monthly income of an average dockworker was less than N5,000 but today, we have changed the narrative by compensating our dockworkers well because they are the bedrock of port operation,” she said.
She said the present crop of dockworkers at ports are well trained and they conduct themselves professionally.
Adewale Adeyanju, president-general of MWUN, commended the Federal Government for concessioning the ports to terminal operators because the reform has impacted positively on lives of port workers through the improved welfare package.
“Before concession, the wages of dockworkers were nothing to write home about such that an average dockworker who worked for eight hours a day would go home with 4,000 at the end of the month. We had stevedoring contractors that did not care about the welfare of workers and some of them even left with pensions of dockworkers,” he disclosed.
He said that the aim is to see dockworkers retire with reasonable retirement benefit.
Victor Ochei, executive director, Cabotage and Maritime Labour of NIMASA, commended STOAN and MWUN for signing the new agreement. He urged all concerned to ensure full implementation of the agreement.