Pic.1 L- R prince Adeyanju MWUN president and NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero ,during the later’s visit to MWUN Secretariat,Olodi Apapa,Lagos on Friday.
By Frank Odinukaeze
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Friday in Lagos directed the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to shut ports nationwide following several unresolved issues with operators and government agencies in the sector.
The newly elected President of the NLC, Comrade Joseph Ajaero gave the directive at the secretariat of the affiliate union during his maiden visit to the union.
The NLC president directed MWUN to write the Ministries of Labour and Transportation and issue them two weeks ultimatum to resolve all issues with MWUN,of which failure to do the needful, the labour union,with the full backing of the NLC, would picket the industry.
Earlier in his welcome address,Prince Adeyanju,MWUN president, had stated amongst other issues , that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) have refused to obey government Marine Notice of 2014 and extant stevedoring regulations.
Adeyanju listed some of the challenges the Union is facing,which included, the refusal of government to pay aged seafarers monthly pension in spite of court ruling,
failure of government to restore registered onboard ship gangway security and tally men
and lack of minimum standard condition of service put in place for members in the shipping sector as it obtains for the Nigerian Ports Authority, Dock Labour and Seafarers.
The MWUN president ,who is also the Deputy president of the NLC, noted that the union had written the Ministry of Labour since August 2021 but nothing has been done till the present time.
Responding to these complaints, the NLC president stated emphatically that he had no sympathy for any employer who did not have the interest of the workers at heart.
The NLC president,assured that the national labour union would provide adequate supports to the union to shut the port.
He advised that MWUN should put together their strong points to the minister of Labour.
” If it is possible, give them two weeks ultimatum from now because nobody will accuse you of not being patient since 2021 till now
“I as the president of NLC, I don’t have sympathy for anybody for toying with interest of workers.
“Show them the letter and shut the port and let the ministry of transportation and labour do their work
“If they fail to follow suit, we will support you. The people cannot be seen violating the law. Every illegal action requires illegal response. What the law requires is to be notified but you have sent letters since 2021.
“We are standing behind you as a labour movement because if there is a union that stands with the NLC, it is MWUN.
What I want to hear is action because we have suffered” he said.
High Chief Ajaero, opined that time is past when workers would create wealth and others woul reap the wealth leaving the workers with nothing.He vowed that his leadership would ensure that,”We shall not only create wealth,but we shall be partakers of the wealth”.
He commended the president of MWUN and his team for the rapid transformation of the Union,and for standing by him and ensuring his victory at the NLC election.
He advised the maritime union to be always proactive .His words,”I urge you to write your history by yourself,don’t allow anyone to write your history for you”.
Ajaero who described Prince Adeyanju as a visionary leader ,frowned at the situation where Nigerian workers should always be at the receiving end ,declaring that,” Enough is enough”
Encouraged by the mutivating words of the NLC president, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju affirmed that he is not as gentle as people think particularly when it comes to matters bothering on workers welfare.
He promised that the union would move swiftly and issue a 2 Weeks Ultimatum to the Ministries of Labour and transportation to address the raised issues and also give clarification on who is regulating the ports .