Maritime workers have threatened to embark on indefinite strike in the next two weeks if the Federal Government failed to make international oil companies pay government-appointed stevedoring contractors monies owed them.
Mr. Adbul-Waheed Adeyanju, the President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), issued the two-week ultimatum in a statement in Lagos yesterday.
Adeyanju particularly urged the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport to look into the issue so that dockworkers could be paid their salaries and wages.
He said that the failure to pay government-appointed stevedoring contractors for jobs done had made it impossible for their workers to be paid salaries, a situation, which he said had led to “the untimely death of members.”
According to him, failure to effect payment to the contractors would make members of the union to withdraw their services in all the seaports.
“Dear stakeholders, we want to use this medium to intimate you and the Federal Government of the non-payment of the stevedoring wages to dockworkers by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
“On June 1, 2018, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) appointed stevedoring contractors to provide stevedoring services at various off-shore jetties and on-shore locations to the international oil companies and other operators,” the statement said.
According to him, the NPA management made it clear that in line with Section 27 OF NIMASA Act, 2007 only government-appointed stevedores and registered dockworkers were empowered by law to solely handle, discharge and embark on loading operations at the ports, jetties and oil platforms.
Adeyanju wondered why the contractors refused to cooperate with the newly-appointed stevedoring contractors since the modus operandi remained the same.