Aggrieved dockworkers shut APM terminals Apapa
Protesting workers lock Customs examination offices
Aggrieved dockworkers under the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), yesterday, shut down Nigeria’s largest container port terminal, APM Terminals, Apapa, crippling port operations over issues of poor remuneration of workers at the facility.
Top executives of the union, led by the President-General, MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, and other members of the dockworkers branch were in front of the entry points of the terminals, insisting that the management of the terminals is taking Nigerian labour workers for a ride, hence the need for the demonstration.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the expiration of the three days extension of the strike notice, which the leadership of MWUN had issued the terminal operator on Tuesday.
With thousands of cargoes trapped at the terminal, as well as officials of government agencies and other users locked out, management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) have started mounting pressure on the terminal operator to find a lasting solution to the current impasse.
The President-General of MWUN, Adeyanju, said if the management of the APM Terminals refuses to meet with the workers and find a solution to their demands, the port shutdown will continue.
“Our members have shut down APM Terminals, Apapa. All the examination offices inside the container terminal that are being used by officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) are currently under lock and key by our members.
“The agitation is connected to the refusal of the APM Terminals, Apapa management to review the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of the workers which ought to be reviewed every year.”
“It is an internal agreement between the workers and the terminal operator, but the terminal operator has refused to review the condition of service of the workers this year and that is why everywhere inside APM Terminals is currently under lock and key.
“The management of the APM Terminals has decided to be funny by not reviewing the condition of service of the workers. I am even going to address the workers very soon. If APM Terminals refuses to meet with us, then the shut down of port operations at APM Terminals, Apapa will continue,” he lamented.
Confirming the lockout of Customs officers working inside APM Terminals in Apapa, the spokesman of the Apapa Customs Command of the NCS, Abubakar Usman explained that Customs officers are currently inside the ports but cannot access their examination offices because the protesting workers have locked them up.