Even though the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and the National Unity Line (NUL) were liquidated about 23 and 13 years ago respectively, fresh indications have emerged that some seafarers who were casualties of the action are yet to get paid their gratuities and other entitlements.
Confirming this to Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN); Comrade Adewale Adeyanju confirmed that the seafarers, whom he said are now old men, besieged his office early penultimate Monday to seek intervention and assistance of the union.
Recall that the NNSL was liquidated in September 1995. Its left-over assets were assumed by the sucessr company; National Unity Line (NUL).
The NUL was fully-owned by the then- National Maritime Authority (NMA) and it began commercial operations in July 1996 as Nigeria's national flag carrier. The NUL had just one ship, MV Abuja. In August 2005, the government put the NUL up for sale.
Also, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) the successor to the NMA had made a fresh attempt to re-launch the NUL in 2011 but to no avail.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily last week, Comrade Adeyanju blamed the condition of the affected seafarers on lack of working Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) at the time of their disengagement.
“If the seafarers have been having CBA in the past, they would have gone further than they are now”
“Some of the seafarers that have retired for the past 20 years have not been paid their gratuity by the national line, if you had come to my office earlier this morning you would have seen the crowd here, they came to besiege my office”
“If you say you have retired a worker and you don’t retire them well with good money, this is what happens”, he told our correspondent.
Adeyanju vowed that the union is determined to follow up the CBA that was recently signed into law by the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC, to a logical conclusion. According to him, any ship-owner that violates the agreement is in trouble with the union.