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Maritime workers to picket terminals flouting safety rules


President, dockworkers branch, Mr Adewale Adeyanju

The Dockworkers Branch of the Maritime Workers’ Union
of Nigeria (MWUN) on Monday gave terminal operators a 21-day ultimatum to
comply with safety standards or the union would resort to picketing.

The President of the dockworkers branch of the union,
Mr Adewale Adeyanju, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency
of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Adeyanju spoke on the heels of an accident which
claimed the life of a dockworker, Mr Samson Oheha.
He stated that Oheha died after a strong wave from a
moving vessel fell a reel of paper from an anchored vessel on which he and
others were off-loading.
Adeyanju, however, said the management of the terminal
where the incident occurred- Five Star Logistics Ltd. – deposited the corpse in
a morgue after a police report.
He said though the police report showed it was an
accident, the situation would not have resulted to death if there were standard
safety measures in place by the terminal operator.
Adeyanju said the union had over time, written many
letters to all terminal operators and stevedoring companies on the need for
According to him, only a few of the operators complied
with the standard safety requirements for dockworkers to carry out their duties
“On safety, we have written series of letters to all
the terminal operators, including the stevedoring contractors, that before they
engage the service of any dockworker, he must be well-kitted.
“It is only a few of the terminal operators that are
compliant in terms of safety, others are not.
“The Union has given them a 21-day ultimatum to make
sure that they comply with the safety measures.
“It is only fair and responsible that dockworkers work
in very safe environment, while measures are put in place to avoid fatalities
–should there be an accident,” Adeyanju said.
He said the late Oheha’s entitlement was already being
processed for payment.
Adeyanju, however, said he was disappointed that the
late dockworker was among other workers that had yet to be paid their
eight-month salaries by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
When NAN contacted the terminal operator on the
incident, the General Manager Operations, Capt. John John, said he was not in a
position to speak on the issue. 

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