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Shipping Union: Workers’ welfare negotiations suspended over COVID-19

The collective bargaining negotiations for improved welfare of workers in Nigeria’s shipping sub-sector have been put on hold pending when the public health concerns of COVID-19 settles


President of the Shipping Branch, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Ekpenyong Ekpenyong, in a chat with OnepageAfrica on Thursday, said all authorities involved in the negotiations would be notified as soon as they intend to resume the talks.
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Shipping Chapter, had earlier issued public notices giving ultimatum to the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) to convene a meeting of both parties
for the discussions.    
Ekpenyong disclosed that at the meeting, which eventually held on 18th March, 2020: “A-ten-man committee was set up to deliberate on the terms of reference and they were given one month
within which to report back to the house.
“It was agreed that employers will sign the final Agreement as industry employers without any qualification in order not to limit the implementation /enforcement in the industry.”
He made clear that the meeting “was at the instance of employers in the Shipping industry under the umbrella of Shipping Association of Nigeria – SAN.
“The Union insisted that all employers must attend in view of the sensitivity of the issues for discussion being industry- based. Circular for the meeting was distributed to all companies and the attendance was appreciable.”
Ekpenyong said that the key issues discussed covered, Upward review of Rates of calculation of terminal benefits; separation of workers gratuity from company funds; Outsourcing and contract staffing;  stagnation /lack of promotion & upgrading; excessive taxation /tax on  terminal benefits
by employers; and support for international training programs for union leaders.


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