By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Ports Authority branch of the Senior Staff Association of Corporation, Transport and Communication (SSACTAC),Â has said that the association and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have not called off their planned strike action, but merely extended the deadline of the ultimatum given to the Nigerian Ports Authority management.
Disclosing this in Lagos recently, SSACTAC Spokeman Comrade Yemi ,Adeyemo said that the NPA in-house unions have extended the 14 days deadline by two weeks to enable NPA management seek necessary approvals to meet the workersâ€™ demands.
He said the extension of the ultimatum was at the request of the NPA management during a meeting with representatives of the unions.
Adeyemo also said that the workers are hoping for an amicable resolution of the industrial dispute rather than a paralizeÂ Â operational activities at the ports.
Meanwhile President General of the MWUN, Comrade Tony Nted, has blamed the Managing Director of NPA, Abdul Salam Mohammedâ€™s indecision for the industrial crisis rocking the organization.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ultimatum handed out to the NPAâ€™sÂ management penultimate week by MWUN and its sister union, the NPA branch of the Senior Staff Association of Corporation, Transport and Communication (SSACTAC), Nted said that Mohammed was guilty of indecision when it came to issues affecting his workers.
Nted said that the unionsâ€™ ultimatum was as a result of the NPAâ€™s inability to resolve salient issues concerning implementation of agreed minimum standard for dock workers especially tally clerks and on_board security men, non_payment of outstanding severance benefit to dockworkers, non_payment of gratuity to retired NPA workers, non_payment of monetisation arrears, non_payment of agreed year 2008 bonus and non_implementation of the new NPA condition of service.
He said â€œWe see that the man is not functioning. We donâ€™t even know which is which and we do not know if the Board or the Federal Ministry of Transport caged the man so that he will not be functional. He needs to explain to the whole world whether he has been caged not to function, because we know that he can take decisions on some of these issuesâ€.
The MWUN boss also expressed his dissatisfaction with the NPA helmsman for denying his workers their usual end_of _year bonus, a privilege hitherto enjoyed by them for over 15 years.
â€œIf he pays the workers end_of_year bonus, he can give it to the Board and the Board will ratify it. I donâ€™t think anybody will query him over that, especially if you have the right conscience and you are doing the right thing.
Nobody will say you embezzled money, because the documents are there to speak.â€œThis end-of-year bonus we are talking about has been paid to NPA workers for the past 15 years, but he has refused to pay it since he came in. â€œHe takes it to the Board and after the Board to the Ministry of Transport.
â€œWe do not know how they workâ€, he stated.