MWUN Begs Lekki Port Terminal to Reinstate Two Sacked Dockworkers, Signs New CBA

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By DAPO OLAWUNI

After months of negotiations, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-owned Companies (SSACGOC) have signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the management of Lekki Freeport Terminal ( LFT). The agreement aims to increase wages, allowances, and benefits for workers of LFT as well promote discipline in line with global best practices.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos on Thursday, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju advised the workers to take their job seriously and maintain discipline, emphasizing that the union will not condone any act of indiscipline.

Adeyanju acknowledged the contributions of the former Chief Executive Officer of LFT, Derrick Moos, in employing over 80% of the port’s workforce from MWUN, urging the workers to continue to protect the union’s image.

“You should know where you are coming from and where you are now. Let us protect the name and integrity you have built before you became a worker in LFT.

“Discipline is what we are about signing now. Your 7am must be 7am. CBA cannot be perfect until when you retire from service because it will be reviewed every two years,” he told the workers, adding, “Lke Oliver twist, we will always ask for more,”

Meanwhile, Comrade Adeyanju has appealed to the management of the Lekki Freeport Terminal to reconsider the recent sack of two workers, recommending suspension instead, as the union will ensure their commitment to good behavior.

“Workers can make mistake but the union will never harbour indiscipline or illegality. It is not in our character. But at this point in time when a worker commits an offense without hearing, it is not the time to lay off those two professionals that have contributed to the success so far recorded in the terminal.

“With the new agreement we are about signing today, I want to appeal to the management on behalf of the two erring workers that they should reverse their sack to suspension because i’m not aware that you sack our members.

“The union will witness their undertaken and commitment so that they don’t misbehave any more because we can’t afford to be losing our members,” he said.

On his part, the President of SSACGOC, Maritime Branch, Comrade Akin Bodunde expressed appreciation to the management of LFT for signing the CBA with the two maritime unions, which negotiations, he said began nine months ago.

He urged the workers to reciprocate the gesture by rededicating themselves to their jobs and supporting the port’s development. He said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. The document may not cover all your aspirations. There is no winner takes all in negotiation. You take some, you leave some that is why negotiation is always 50/50. I want to assure you that it is not the end but the beginning. In the next few years, we will look into it again. “Continue to do your their best to support the development of the port.” Comrade Bodunde assured the management of the union’s support in achieving their objectives. Speaking earlier, Coordinator of the CBA negotiation and Deputy President General of MWUN, Comrade Tonye Harry commended the efforts of all parties involved in the negotiation process, which led to the successful realization of the CBA

“Today is a very good day for al of us and please let us work by the CBA because it is a working dicument and once it is signed, it has become sacrosant for all the workers in LFT. The CBA is going to impact about 500 workers and that is why it is a people’s CBA, ” he said. Speaking also at the event, President, Dockworkers branch of MWUN, Comrade Tajudeen Ohize, reiterated the need for workers to remain committed and supportive. “Our union will not tolerate hooliganism or stealing. We must work together to maintain a harmonious work environment,” he stressed. In his response, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), LFT, Christophe Cassang promised to look at the request of the MWUN PG to reinstate the two sacked workers, promising to review the newly signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to consider their reinstatement. Cassang acknowledged the efforts of the management and workers, which, he said, have led to increased volume at the terminal. He urged the union executives and workers to cooperate with the terminal to achieve mutual benefits.

His words, “We are starting to see the result of our good job by the volume increasing. We are working hard to call new lines to come. We are very close to see the first one to come. “Now, we are in the same vessel, the wave may be rough or tough but as long as we keep the propeller running in the same direction, nothing can stop us.We will continue moving forward.” General Manager, Government Relations and Security, LFT, Fubara Awanta described the CBA as people’s CBA as it offers better opportunities for the staff and the business of LFT.

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