Lagos — The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria yesterday issued a 21 day warning to foreign Shipping companies operating in Nigeria to meet with the group to review their conditions of service for workers or face industrial action.
In a letter with reference number MWUN/C/SAN/DN/2020 and addressed to Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria, SAN, the Secretary-General of the Union, Comrade Felix Akingboye said that eight months after the union wrote the association for a meeting, SAN has not deemed it fit to respond to its request.
Akingboye said the attitude of the shipping companies does not encourage industrial harmony.
Part of the letter, dated 26th February 2020, read: “Our letter with Ref. No. MWUN/SB/RICS/2019 dated 22nd May, 2019 captioned “Review of Industry Condition of Service namely End of Service/Redundancy/Retirement Benefits and Gratuity Scheme which was received in your office same day”(ie 22/5/2019) refers.
“In our letter under reference, proposal was made for a meeting of your Association and the Union to hold between 10th -14th June, 2019 with a view to reviewing the over due terminal benefits currently being paid to workers but up till now, you have not found it necessary to dignify us with a response.
“This is not an attitude that encourage cordial industrial relationship. It is rather an indication of the level of contempt at which you hold the Union and the little regard you have for workers welfare.
“The Terminal benefits (Industry Condition of Service) currently being paid in the Shipping Industry was negotiated and became effective in the year 2008, a decade ago.
“Since you have decided to treat our request with levity, I have been directed to issue your Association 21 days Notice effective from the date of this letter within which you are expected to convey a meeting with the Union for the purpose of reviewing upward the terminal benefits payable to workers at their point of exit.
“We also demand that you evacuate all your empty containers that are parked indiscriminately, causing the gridlock on the access roads to the Ports.”