February 29, 2024

Anti-Labour Activities: GMT Nigeria Risks Picketing

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NLC president, Joe Ajaero

The Nigerian Labour Congress and it’s affiliate Union, the Maritime Workers’Union of Nigeria,(MWUN) have warned the management of GMT Nigeria Limited of an impending industrial action over the latter’s refusal to obey industrial laws which has given its workers the right to be unionized. Fillers from the Unions indicate that the Management of GMT is still frustrating Union activities even after a protracted legal battle at the Industrial Court.

In a press statement from the NLC, signed by its president, Comrade Joe Ajaero and made available to TodayNews by MWUN’s Media Head, John Kennedy Ikemefuna, the Ajaero was quoted to have hinted of an impending industrial action if the Union’s warning is not heeded,
” the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), brings to your attention complaints from one of our affiliate unions, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, on a series of anti-labour activities perpetuated by your company and the urgent need to address the issues raised. We have been made to understand that after a series of legal battles at the National
Industrial Court (NIC), the union established a branch in your company with dully elected
unit executives. However, since constituting the unit executives, the Management of the company has launched unrestrained anti-labour activities to frustrate activities of the
union.

These nefarious actions carried out by the Management include:Termination of the appointment of the unit executives for daring to be elected as workers representatives, Harassing and coercing workers to denounce union membership.

Refusal to sign collective bargaining agreement with the union Issuance of query to intimidate union officials for offences not committed, and Use of the Police to harass the National leadership of the union at various police formations on frivolous allegations.”

Furthermore, Ajaero stated, “We wish to note that these are weighty issues that not only violate extant labour laws in our country, but contravene international labour standards as enshrined in to conventions that Nigeria is signatory to.
Of more concern has been your blatant Jettisoning of the communique of June 5, 2023, signed by the Nigerian Shippers Council, the Maritime Workers union of Nigeria and the Shipping Companies/Agencies Freight Forwarders Employers of which you were part of. The agreement, which at the heel of the strike action embarked upon by the union, had covered a range of issues directed at resolving industrial relations challenges in the shipping sector, and some of these included prevailing complaints of the union against your company.

Apart from ignoring the agreement, your Management was said to have not only reported the strike action to the Police in an attempt to muzzle the union leadership, but instituted a court case against the union on a general strike action that was not targeted at the company.

We strongly condemn the anti-labour activities of your company, and if not discontinued might plunge the Maritime industry into avoidable crisis. Consequently, we urge you to respect the agreement between the union and shipping companies brokered by the Nigerian Shipping Council, and enter into meaningful dialogue with the union on its demands with a view to reaching amicable resolution.”

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