The hope of improved welfare package for workers in shipping sector in Nigeria is in sight as as negotiations have commenced between the Maritime Workers’Union of Nigeria (MWUN) which is the Union representing junior workers in the sector and the group of employers of labour called Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN).
The negotiation, which took off on Tuesday, is aimed at having an improved and standard salaries, promotions and other welfare packages for shipping workers as obtains in dockworkers and seafarers sections.
The President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju while speaking with national, branch, district and unit executives of the dockworkers and seamen branches on Wednesday, said that the new negotiation would take the workers out of the doldrum of despair saying working in Nigeria’s shipping sector is like a death sentence
With the new negotiation, the shipping witkers’ pay would have a template and security.
According to Adeyanju, getting SAN to sit with the Union for the negotiation was after issuance of 21 days to the body of employers.
His words, “We thank God, we issued out 21 days ultimatum to Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) as directed by our NEC, I was told that they have invited us for a meeting to commence the negotiation.
“They have invited the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) to start discussing the welfare of the workers in shipping. I think that is a plus to MWUN
“They did not want to listen before but because of the threat, they now see that there is need for them to have a meeting with us and I learnt they started yesterday.
“It has to do with what is called minimum standard is shipping. We have it in dockworkers, the seafarers, what stops us from having it in shipping?
“Their remuneration is nothing to write home about. Thirty years service in shipping is like a death sentence due to the amount they pay them. They can remain in one position for ten or fifteen years without promotion and that is why you see some of them turn themselves to camp boys scouting for containers here and there.
“So, if they are leaving tomorrow, what is their take home? We have been telling them that they must have a minimum standard. That is what the Union is saying
“It is like that have agreed with us and the discussion has started since yesterday on the welfare of the workers in shipping.
Also. Speaking on the return of tally clerks and onboard security men in the port, he stated that a committee has been set up including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), mwun, among other relevant agencies.
“We are bringing back Talky clerks and onboard security men and a committee has been set up includng NIMASA, NPA
“The DG of NIMASA said it that day and part of his words was that he promised us tally clerks and onboard security men, he is trying to fulfil it and we thank him”, he enthused.