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Subsidy/Forex: Shipping workers lament, demand 2 or 3 days to work from home.

Subsidy/Forex: Shipping workers lament, demand 2 or 3 days to work from home.

 

….say workers may not be able to survive in next 3 to 4 months.

The Senior Staff Association of Shipping, Clearing and Forwarding Agencies (SSASCFA) has called on the federal government to help cushion the effect of the recent subsidy removal from fuel and devaluation of naira on shipping workers.

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The workers say that they may not be able to survive the hardship if the trend continues in the next three to four months.

Recall that the recent subsidy removal has increased the pump price of fuel to N627 while Naira now exchanges to a dollar at a rate between N800 and N900.

The President General of SSASCFA, Comrade Harrison Ugochukwu Asonye in a chat with newsmen on the sideline during celebration of the first anniversary of the women arm of the association in Lagos on Friday, lamented the hardship the developments have brought on members of the union.

Asked how the subsidy removal has impacted on the members of the association, the PG of the TUC affiliate group said the union was in discussion with the managements of the various shipping companies to see if they could take two or three days to work remotely to reduce the cost of transportation and hardship.

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The visibly enraged PG who stated that N30,000 minimum wage is not enough to fill the tanks of their vehicles, called on the government to find a quick solution to the economic hardship in the land.

On foreign exchange rate, he stated that some companies are already folding up while some are merging even as he said that importers have cut down on their import quantities.

His words, “Removal of subsidy is hugely, severely impacting negatively on the lives of my members, I have to be truthful. We are not finding it easy, it takes the grace of God for our members and Nigerian workers to survive this thing in the next 3 to 4 months if nothing is done.

“As a proactive union leader, we have discussed with our managements in order to reduce the hardship on the lives of our members, if we can take two or three days to work remotely to reduce the cost of transportation and hardship

“Again the Nigerian workers are really in pain, they are suffering, they are not finding it easy as I talk to you today

“It takes about 36 to 40 thousand naira to fuel your car for one week and the minimum wage is 30 thousand naira in some states, it is not enough to fill your tank, how do we ameliorate this?

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“We are calling on the government to look at the sufferings of the masses, we are not finding it easy. They should also look at the plights of the masses, we are now at the receiving end

“The issue of Forex has affected adversely, the industry is not smiling. Exchange rate is a function of international business

“Those who used to import like two containers of goods before, cannot be bold enough to import one now because of the present exchange rate which is going in geometric progression

“Today you hear N800 to a dollar before you know it again, it is N900 to a dollar. It is telling on us, so many companies are gradually winding up, many companies are merging. As a result, no enough capital to manage these businesses. So, government should come to our rescue.

Speaking on the commission women celebration earlier, Comrade Asonye said that it was a welcome development. He lauded the initiative saying it would help to improve on the digital awareness of the workers in the industry.

“We see it as a welcome development and what we are going to benefit from health-wise, experience-wise and so on.

“As a matter of fact, there is a revolution in the world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the talk of the day and we are also talking about digitisation and digitilisation.

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“Today, people want to be efficient in what they are doin. The use of machines, electronic appliances is very key in the life of every worker.

“As the world is moving, we must move along with the world. So, we need to sensitise out members to embrace all these technological advancements that are being deployed to different industries today. Shipping should not be left out, ” he submitted.

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