Economic activities are being disrupted at the nation’s seaports as the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), shut down operations at the port on Tuesday.
The Maritime Workers joined the nationwide strike of the Nigerian Labour Congress over the alleged assault on Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress and other union officials by the government of Imo state.
BusinessDay discovered the Apapa and Tin-Can Island seaport gates were all locked. The action which commenced on Tuesday, resulted in a crowd gathering outside the Apapa port as staff members were denied entry into the port.
The union also disclosed that the continued refusal of the government to implement agreements, non-payment of backlog of salaries, and pensions, discriminatory payment of salaries and non-compliance to the national minimum wage were responsible for the nationwide strike.
Tony Anakebe told our correspondent that Maritime Workers have crippled port business for today, which means that the importer would be forced to pay demurrage.
He expressed worry that the indefinite strike would have heavy economic implications for port users and the importer.
According to him, clearing agents would not allow the strike action to exceed seven days as the economic implication would result in a protest from the agents if the strike is not called off after seven days.
Meanwhile, the activities of Maritime Workers prevented port users from accessing their offices, thereby, disrupting economic and commercial activities at the port.
Yusuf Liadi, a port user, told newsmen that the protesting workers prevented clearing agents and workers from accessing their various offices.
He said cargo-laden and empty container-laden trucks were prevented from accessing the seaports.
“We have been here since 7 am and can’t access the port. The labour unions have shut operation, no truck go in or come out,” he stated.
Mukaila Oladimeji, another user, said he was returning home because he couldn’t access the port.
He said that he has some cargo to exit out of the port, but with the strike action, that won’t be possible anymore today.
”I have to return home. I can’t access the port to exit my cargo. The importer will have to pay the terminal operator and shipping company additional storage and demurrage charges for today,” he said.