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Dockworkers threaten to shut Nigeria’s ports over unpaid salary arrears

National President of the MWUN, Mr Tony Nted

                                President, Dockworkers Union of MWUN, Mr Adewale Adeyanju and other union members during the 2014 strike action in Apapa port 

Members of the Maritime
Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have threatened to shut the nation’s ports over
unpaid salary arrears.

The workers, mainly dockworkers gave a 14-day
ultimatum to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) within which to pay the eight
months arrears or face withdrawal of services by members of the union.

President of MWUN, Mr Anthony Nted, told newsmen
in Lagos that the ultimatum which started Monday would expire on July 20.

Nted disclosed that the contractors started
owing salaries after the NPA created another body known as Cargo Surveyors, to
carry out jobs at the ports.

He said, “ Payment of dockworkers salaries in
the past was done promptly until some officials of the NPA created the cargo
surveyors to take over the jobs of tally clerks and onboard security men.”

He said that while the NPA has paid cargo
surveyors millions of Naira, the dockworkers doing the job were neglected.

The Union President said that no good result has come
out of the several meetings held with the management of NPA, Ministries of Transport
and Labour on the issue.

He said that this was despite the Memorandum of
Understanding reached on the issue between both parties, adding that the NPA
has failed to keep its promises.

Nted added, “The NPA management told us to wait
that they had exhausted their budget. Later they claimed that stevedoring
contractors do not have documents to show that dockworkers received salary.

“We threatened to go to court to show that the
workers were being paid with documents before now.

“However, we have decided to stop all port
operations if the workers are not paid after the ultimatum expires.”
It would be recalled that members of the union had embarked on a strike action late in 2014 over the lingering issues of Cargo Surveyors taking over their jobs and non-payment of salary.
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