Breaking! Shutdown of port operations looms as NLC issues two weeks ultimatum to IOCs

Breaking! Shutdown of port operations looms as NLC issues two weeks ultimatum to IOCs

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued two weeks ultimatum to International Oil Companies (IOCs) over non compliance with Government Marine Notice No. 106, 2014 issued to stakeholders in the sector.

The Congress, in a.letter addressed to the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, said it was bringing to the attention of the minister an issue that is about to shatter the industrial peace and harmony that has been conscientiously built through the interventions of the Honourable Minister and the efforts of MWUN.

In a statement to the minister signed by the President of the union, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, it added that it sought the intervention of the minister to prevent the shutdown of all Maritime operations in Nigeria any moment from the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum

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Wabba further added that any action undertaken by Maritime Workers Union of Nigcria – at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum will receive the full backing and solidarity support from the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Recall that several attempts and interventions by the minister and Chief Executives of Maritime agencies to get the IOCs to comply to the government directives yielded no result.

Text of the statement, “In line with extant maritime laws in Nigeria especially the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act, 2007, a Government Marine Notice No. 106, 2014 was issued to stakeholders in the sector.

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“The Government Marine Notice 106 mandated all companies and persons engaged in stevedoring work including Dock Labour Employer and Private Operators of any work location including Ports, Jetties, Onshore or Offshore Oil and Gas or Bonded Terminals, Inland Container Depots (ICDs}, off Dock Terminai, Dry Ports and Platforms to engage stevedoring workers and companies – to carry out the operations on their platforms and premises.

“Government Marine Notice 106 is also in tandem with Article 3 (2) of international Labour Organization (ILO) Dock Work Convention 137 which Nigeria ratified on the 22°¢ of March 2004, and which states:

“Registered dockworkers shall have priority of engagement for dock work”

“Unfortunately, while other operators in the sector have allowed registered stevedoring companies and dock workers access to their platforms and premises in compliance with the Marine Notice 106, international Oil Companies (lOCs} have been in wilful disobedience to the directives contained in Government Marine Notice 106.

“The Honourable Minister may recall that the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria had brought this matter to your esteemed attention a number of times and had even issued ultimatum for strike actions in the past including 3-days warning strike which was eventually suspended and 14days Notice of Strike Action issued in April 2021.

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“The Honourable Minister would also recall that at a meeting held on 30” June 2021 on this matter, the Honourable Minister directed the International Oil Companies to comply fully and immediately within seven days with the provisions of Government Marine Notice 106. Sadly, till now, International Oil Companies have flagrantly and with grand impunity disregarded the Honourable Minister s directives.

“The intervention of the Honourable Minister and the commitment of our union in the sector to put our country first had forestalled a full blown industrial action on this matter. This matter has festered for four years now without any solution in sight forcing MWUN to issue a notice for an indefinite strike action which was billed to take effect from 1° March 2022.

“Upon the expiration of our latest Notice of Nationwide Strike Action on February 28, 2022, the Maritime Workers Unton of Nigeria was again entreated by the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority at a meeting held with the union and concerned stakeholders especially the International Oil Companies. At the meeting, an understanding was reached that the IOCs should comply with the extant stevedoring regulation within the next two weeks effective from 28″ of February 2022. The Nigeria Labour Congress is in full support of this decision. Unfortunately, since February 28, 2022 the IOCs have refused to sign the Agreement reached at the meeting.”

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