Members of the Association of Shipping Lines Agents have decried the proposed shutting down of the nation’s seaports by Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) saying that the action might be inimical to the economy of the country.
The Agents therefore, advised members of the Union to shelve it’s planned protest in the interest of the general public.
Recall that the Members Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN had threatened to shutdown the nation’s seaports and terminals on Monday, October 30, 2023, if the salaries and allowances of it’s members were not reviewed.
The union had issued a 7-day ultimatum to all foreign and multinational shipping companies operating in Nigeria, to review the entitlement of it’s members or face the consequence of shutting down there operations.
Chairman of SAN, Boma Alabi, at a press conference held in Lagos, on Friday noted with concern the announcement by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria of their intention to commence strike action by October 30, 2023.
The SAN Chair said the shipping companies have repeatedly reminded the MWUN that SAN members do not encompass the totality of employers in the Maritime sector, and that despite that SAN have been engaging with MWUN on certain improvements to terms and conditions for employees.
She said several enhancements have already been tabled, and that dialogue is ongoing, with the most recent meeting having been on 29th September 2023.
“It should also be noted that the MWUN seek to impose “minimum standards of employment” while the members of SAN who seem to be repeatedly singled out in the media and public statements by MWUN, consider existing terms and conditions for SAN member companies employees to be significantly above any so called “minimum standards” already.
Yet we remain open to discussions on sustainable proposals.
In recent weeks many companies have provided additional palliatives to staff to cushion the effects of fuel price hikes and other inflationary pressures affecting all Nigerians.
” A strike in the ports at this delicate time is a strike against every single business, worker and consumer in Nigeria, not simply against shipping companies.
“Many of our members are significant investors in the Port and Logistics sector in Nigeria, creating thousands of jobs and helping to enhance and improve competitiveness and investment opportunities for businesses in the country.
“At a time where Nigeria needs investment to create growth and opportunities for employment, we consider a call to shut down the Nations ports to be wholly inappropriate.
“The welfare of employees is a matter of utmost importance to members and we remain open for constructive dialogue through the existing Technical Committee of employers and MWUN which is chaired by the Nigerian Shippers Council” she said