By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Thursday shutdown the premises of largest container terminal in Africa, APM Terminals Apapa, Lagos, over alleged racism and breach agreement reached with the union.
Recall that MWUN and the management of the APMT have in the past three weeks, been in a running battle over the replacement of Nigerians with foreign workers.
Last week, both parties entered into discussions in an attempt to resolve the issue, but failed to reach agreement after the management was alleged to have refused to give a time frame when some of the foreigners would leave.
It was gathered that the management had claimed the foreigners were brought in to train Nigerians.
President General of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju who confirmed the shutdown of the terminal to Vanguard, among others said “The workers have shutdown the terminal because of the anti-labour practices going on at APMT
“It depends on APMT, let them go and reposition themselves and follow due process in line with the National Joint Industrial Negotiating Council, NJIC agreement that we signed with them. It is by law. They are taking advantage of Nigerians and bringing in foreigners to take over our jobs. Now the workers have taken their fate or destiny in their hands that they won’t allow this to happen.
“The jobs that Nigerians can do, APMT is bringing in Egyptians, Ghanaians, among others to come and head departments that Nigerians have been heading. The white man heading the terminal has no regard for Nigerians. He is in our father’s land and yet he would be calling us all sorts of names. This is totally unacceptable. It is too bad.
“They don’t like us, yet they are making a lot of money in Nigeria, and taking the money back to develop their own country at the expense of Nigerians.”
Adeyanju implored the Nigerian Immigration Service to investigate and look into the foreigners engaged by APMT to take jobs belonging to Nigerians, adding
“Immigration should check what their work permit says, you cannot just come into this country as an expatriate, you must have your work permit.”