Warning strike: Maritime workers braced to shutdown port activities for second day.

...there is 100% compliance level on day one, union leaders affirm


Segun Oladipupo

Executives and members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Tuesday, turned out enmasse as port operations across the country were paralysed in compliance to the two days warning strike as declared by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Happy Diamond Age

The leaders said that the warning strike would continue on Wednesday barring any last minute contrary directive from the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

The members who trooped out in their numbers were drawn from the four branches of the union storming the various port formations in peaceful demonstrations

Monarchs News correspondent who was on ground to monitor the proceedings, reported that the president’s of the four branches of the union were on ground to lead the workers in the protest.

The branches include; Dockworkers, NPA, Shipping and Seamen.

The demonstration which commenced at Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), proceeded to Tin Can Island Port Complex (TICPC).

Members were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Speaking with journalists, Deputy President General, MWUN Comrade Harry Leonard Tonye, said the union complied 100% to the NLC directive nationwide and that all the seaports were on total lockdown.

He added that the demonstration was in the interest of Nigerians saying the effect of fuel subsidy removal was biting hard in the workers and Nigerians at large.

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His words, “We are not really happy about the strike considering the fact that this is where we get our source of livelihood from but we cannot undermine millions of Nigerians who are clamouring for change over the subsidy removal.” Tonye said.

President, NPA Branch, Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli said that the warning strike was at the behest of the Congress even as he enthused that the Maritime workers complied with the directives of the leaders.

He quipped that he had received reports from other ports across the country about the compliance level.

He said, “This is just Lagos Ports Complex and I can tell you that there are compliance from out ports, Calabar, Warri, Port Harcourt,
Onne .”

“We are not opposition party but we want the government to talk to us in a way that we will understand. Government should show some high sense of commitment. Government should engage us with an open mind ND not with pre-determined mindset,” he submitted.

The NPA President maintained that the strike could continue the next day except there is a contrary directive from the leaders.

Comrade Sunday Avoseh, President, Seamen and Water Transport, NIWA Branch of MWUN believed that the rate of compliance was encouraging.

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The aquatic branch President added that the strike action would send a signal to the government that the labour leaders meant business

On his part the Shipping branch, clearing and forwarding branch President of the the union, Comrade Ekpeyong Ekpeyong while speaking said that the Congress was not out against the government or employers of labour but merely seeking the government attention over the requests of workers.

Ekpeyong stated that the masses have list hope in the government even as he said that the protest was aimed at improving the lives of workers.

The president of Dockworkers Branch, Comrade Tajudeen Ohize called on members of the union to embark on peaceful demonstration urging them to maintain orderliness in line with the directives.

Ohize appealed to the workers to ensure that the peaceful warning strike is not hijacked by unscrupulous elements adding that NLC delegates would give out directives on what to expect on the day two warning strike.

He hailed the workers for coming out in good numbers to fight their course.

He maintained that the President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju who doubles as the 1st Deputy President of NLC would have been on ground but he was in Abuja to monitor proceedings

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He lauded the efforts of the PG who he said had tried to maintained peace in the port over the years and the he had trained them to become whatever they have become today

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