Maritime workers suspend strike as NPA begins payment
President of the Dockworkers’ Branch of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, who disclosed the development at the weekend, explained that the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has signed all necessary papers to ensure payment to dockworkers from today.
Adeyanju explained that the signing of the papers took place Thursday night after a marathon meeting by stakeholders and a letter from the Ministry of Transport to the management of NPA urging it to ensure immediate payment of the wages to avert industrial unrest in the nation’s ports.
MWUN had threatened to shut the ports and begin an indefinite industrial action by Friday after NPA had allegedly refused to endorse the payment of the wages of the dockworkers especially Tally Clerks and On-Board Securitymen for the last eight months.
Adeyanju said: “All the papers have been signed by the management of NPA and it is expected that the payment will begin from Monday (today).
“Because of that, we are suspending the planned industrial action hoping that all the unpaid wages will be paid before the end of the week to avoid creating unnecessary tension in the ports. These workers have exercise enough patience and they have gone through untold hardships exposing their families and dependents to severe sufferings”.
The Federal Ministry of Transport had in a letter to the Managing Director of NPA, dated August 4, 2015, and signed by S. U Galadanchi, Director (Maritime Services), on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, intimated the NPA management of the implication of any shut down of the ports by organised labour.
Titled “Re: Planned abolition of the function of On-Board Security men and Tally Cleark (unit of Dockworkers), by the Nigerian Ports Authority: A clarion call”, the Director of Maritime Services, said, “I am directed to refer to your letter ref. No. MD/10/FM/Vol.XX/247 dated 16th July, 2015 and our letters ref. Nos. T.0160/S.166/T/214 dated June 4th, 2015 and T.01/60/5.166/T/217 dated July 14th, 2015 respectively on the above subject/copies attached, and convey approval of the Permanent Secretary for you to effect payment to the twelve (12) Dock Labour Employers appointed by the Ministry vide letter No. T.3968/T.2/43 dated 24th October 2005 to supply Tally Clerics and On-board Security men in our Ports for services rendered under the contract.