By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, yesterday raised the alarm over the invasion of five shipping companies by armed security men who held workers hostage for over five hours seizing their personal belongings including phones.
The armed security men were said to have been brought by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC (formerly Consumer Protection Council).
The shipping companies invaded were COSCO Shipping, HULLBLYTH, CMA/CGM, LANSAL and HAPAD LYOD.
It was gathered that all efforts to make FCCPC explain the reasons for the invasion proved abortive.
The workers also were not allowed to leave until the Union threatened to shut the industry.
In statement, President-General of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, while condemning the invasion, said among others, “We have been informed that agents from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, escorted by heavily armed Policemen and army personnel invaded the work premises of our members in COSCO Shipping, HULLBLYTH, CMA/CGM, LANSAL and HAPAD LYOD and proceeded to unleash mayhem on innocent working members of the union. They seized their personal phones without any justification and held them hostage against their will and refused them movement outside their various offices.
“While we are not against Government agencies doing their work, we believe that laid down procedures should be followed. Our enquiries at the Shippers Council which is the regulating agency for all shipping companies indicate that they were neither informed nor aware of this invasion of our members’ work places. Secondly, we do not also believe that any category of workers should be subjected to this inhuman treatment without just cause or prior information.
“We ask that this invasion of our work places and the holding of our members’ hostage be immediately discontinued and investigated by appropriate authority for the sake industrial harmony in the ports. Should this kind of invasion of our work places continue without due process, the Union will be forced to withdraw the services of its members.”