By Victor Ahiuma-Young
MARITIME Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and its Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations, SSACTAC, NPA branch counterpart, have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA to resolve all impending issues bothering on workers’ welfare and benefits, failing which the entire sector would be shut down.
In a joint petition to the management of NPA, leaders of the two unions, listed their grievances to include non-implementation of agreed minimum standard for Dockworkers, for Tally Clerks and on-board Security, non-payment of outstanding severance benefit to Dockworkers, non-payment of gratuity to retired NPA workers, non-payment of monetization arrears, non-payment of agreed year 2008 Bonus and non-implementation of the new NPA Conditions of Service for workers.
The petition signed by Comrades Tony Nted Emmanuel and A. Aham Ubani, President-General and Secretary-General, MWUN and O. J Umar and A. O Leoso, President and General Secretary, SSACTAC NPA, dated March 29, made it abundantly clear that at the expiration of the ultimatum and failure to positively address the unions’ grievances, the entire maritime sector across the country would be shut down without further notice.
Reacting to the issues of non-payment of benefits and other entitlement to the workers and other sundry issues, the management of NPA through the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Musa Iliya said anything that had to do with the money must get approval from the board of NPA before such money was paid. He appealed to the workers to exercise patience because of the processes involved .
Part of the petition read: â€œWe wish to observe that your managementâ€™s refusal to implement the long standing demands of the workers in spite of our continued appeals/meetings, has brought about frustration and palpable tension in the workplace. We asÂ an organized body can no longer tolerate this, having exercised patience for years, at the risk of the continued confidence of our members.
We therefore demand the implementation of these demands withinÂ 14-days, effective from the date of this letter. Implementation of agreed minimum standard for Dockworkers, for Tally Clerks and on-board Security. Payment of outstanding severance benefit to Dockworkers. Payment of Gratuity to retired NPA Workers. Payment of Monetization Arrears. Payment of Agreed year 2008 Bonus.
New NPA Condition of Service.â€
It added â€œPlease note that failure to do this within the given time frame will lead to total shut-down of the Ports without the luxury of any further notice.â€