EMPLOYERS in the Shipping/Courier sector of the Maritime industry have reach agreement with organized labour how modalities for sustainable gratuity in the sector.
President of the Shipping/Courier branch of the Maritime Workers of Nigeria, MWUN, Uche Igwe-Onu, disclosed this development during the branch 3rd Quadrennial Delegates Conference, held in Lagos.
Addressing delegates and other guests including employers, Igwe-Onu said “in our turbulent time, some management took advantage of the situation to either ignore already agreed terms and conditions of service or even felt it was no longer necessary in their profit maximisation agenda. To be precise, some of our colleagues were cajoled into signing off their gratuity while some did not have the opportunity of making decision on it.
On getting formal complaints from our Comrade’s in Maersk and Hullblyth Nigeria Ltd. respectively, we quickly set in motion the process of restoration of this very important item in our condition of service. Irrespective of the excuses of these managements we were emphatic that the only way forward was that gratuity must be restored and arrears paid in the companies were it was clear that workers were short changed. Comrades you will agree with me that this was a difficult task considering the money involved.
The Branch employed the best approach possible to ensure that members got back their due. I can confirm to you today that the two companies under reference have fully restored Gratuity to the benefit of our members.
Comrade’s, after witnessing the ordeal passed by some of our colleagues in pursuit of their gratuity coupled with other encumbrances that have continued to threaten the survivability and sustainability of the gratuity scheme it became imperative that Union and Managements must bring to bare a pragmatic ways and means of not only surviving gratuity but to ensure its sustenance.
To this end we have initiated a high level negotiation with employers in our industry. I can confirm that the negotiation is going quite well, employers have accepted the inevitability of sustaining gratuity but with a modification on the calculation pattern. They have also agreed on separating gratuity from company funds and also to fund the accounts moving forward.
They time frame within which the already accrued gratuity will take before paying into the system and percentages going forward are yet be concluded. I can report that there is passion from both sides to ensure that this exercise is completed on good time. On our part we pledge to bequeath to you an assured gratuity scheme that cannot be threatened by any economic condition of the companies we work for.
This choice, for which we have so much trumpeted, was established in the Courier sector over 5 years now at the instance of employers till today not even one Courier company have commenced this process. I want assure comrade’s that this battle is one battle we are going to take head long if re-elected into office.