Merchant Navy Union Secures Increase in CBA for Nigerian Seafarers, As Membership Grows to 10,000

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L-R: General Secretary of Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) Comrade John Okpono, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, an ITF official, and the visiting ITF Coordinator, Mrs Barning Annica Marie during a meeting in Apapa on Tuesday

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association NMNOWTSSA has stated that its Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with shipping companies and manning agents rose from five to about twenty in the last four years.

The seafarers’ union an affiliate with Trade Union Congress (TUC) also announced that within the last four years under the leadership of Comrade Bob Yousou, recorded membership growth from about 3,000 to about 10,000.

These figures was announced by the Secretary General of NMNOWTSSA, Comrade John Okpono Aleakhue in Lagos on Tuesday when the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) London, Project Coordinator on Maritime Affiliate Support project( MAS) Mrs Barning Annica Marie paid a working visit to the national secretariat of the union.

According to Aleakhue, the union has made significant achievements in the last four years for members welfare adding that relevant agencies of the government are in touch whenever issues bothering on seafarers’ activities arise.

On the ITF project in Nigeria, he stated that the Maritime Affiliate Support project( MAS) in Nigeria is a blessing for the seafarers calling on the international federation to assist in furtherance to help unionize more members .The scribe reiterated that “Apart from the MAS project, before now Merchant Navy declared membership of about 3000 to ITF but I can say that we are clocking 10,000 under this administration”

On the benefit of the project in Nigeria, he affirmed that the MAS project would further help in the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) hence, better the lots of the seafarers in a remarkable ways, noting that marine fishers who are members of the union have also taken strategic position to key into the project.

While highlighting some of the challenges befalling the group, the seafarers Union secretary general called on the federation to support and assist on how they can influence employment onboard NLNG Shipping Management Limited (NSML) vessels, adding that some manning agents operating in Nigeria so not accept CBA.

Aleakhue lamented that lack of acceptability of the agents and shipping companies have posed major setbacks for the NMNOWTSSA to unionise more members into the seafaring fraternity

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