By Godfrey Bivbere, Ebuka Oko & Gideon Nnaemezie
IN a bid to find a lasting solution to the on-going rift between the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and International Oil Companies, IOCs, the Ministry of Transportation has summoned a reconciliation meeting for today.
Disclosing this to Vanguard Maritime Report, the President General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyunju, acknowledged the invitation letter from the Federal Ministry of Transportation saying, “We received a letter of invitation from the ministry of transportation on Friday (last week) for a meeting on Wednesday with the IOCs and all the relevant stakeholders”.
When asked about the Union’s agitations, he said that their concerns were clear as they rightly point to the issues of unpaid workers’ salaries, non-adherence to the port rules and regulations and termination of the contract of some stevedoring operators by the IOCs.
He stated: “Our grouse are very clear; the workers’ salaries have not been paid for almost a year now, that is how bad it is. How have they been practising in that place before? Who terminated the appointment of a particular stevedoring operator? The workers are working and you do not allow the stevedoring operator to come in.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has tried all they could to convince all the parties to adhere to the rules, the law of the land. You cannot be bigger than a country that you are making a whole lot of money from and that is why we come out in this direction”, he concluded.
MWUN, a few weeks ago, withdrew their services and shut port operations across the nation’s seaports over unpaid wages to dockworkers by the IOCs.