The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has said that about 4000 workers were being denied gainful employment by the International Oil Companies (IOCs).
President General of the union; Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said it was because the union had tried to make the IOCs to comply with extant regulations which authorized employment of dockworkers in facilities belonging to the oil companies that made the union to give the seven –day ultimatum last week.
While fielding questions on our sister platform; Shipping Position Live on Star FM on Monday, Comrade Adeyanju said it was painful that the IOCs have refused to allow the stevedoring companies that were duly appointed by law by the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) to work.
He said the refusal has put the employment of about 4000 Nigerians in jeopardy. The NPA has sent a marine notice 106 telling the IOCs to allow the stevedoring contractors to work in their terminals. But as I am talking to you now, they are dillydallying and they are not ready for compliance”.
The MWUN PG also alleged that, rather than comply, the IOCs have been employing foreigners.
“The IOCs should allow the stevedoring contractors that are duly employed by the Nigerian Ports Authourity should be allowed to work in their terminals”, Comrade Adeyanju said.
He also cautioned stakeholders not to take the peaceful disposition of the union for granted and that the union would not hesitate to call out any employer of labour in the maritime industry, who wants to undermine the union by mal-treating its members.
The union had on Friday, threatened to shut all the nation’s seaports, terminals, jetties and cargo handling facilities because of alleged violation of extant stevedoring regulations by International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria.
The union, in a statement signed by its President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and General Secretary; Comrade Felix Akingboye gave a seven-day ultimatum for the IOCs to comply with stevedoring and marine notices which guide engagement of stevedoring companies in all ports, jetties, onshore or offshore oil and gas or bonded terminals, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), off- dock terminals, dry ports and platforms.
In the statement, the MWUN said, “we wish to further inform the general public that failure of the federal government and its agencies to compel the IOCs to comply with the rules on or before the expiration of this seven- day ultimatum, the Union will have no option than to shut down all forms of operations at the ports, terminals, jetties and other cargo handling locations in the country to press home our demands.”
Giving details of its grievances, the union complained about “non – compliance of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to Extant Stevedoring regulations and the Marine/Government Notice No. 106 on Stevedoring regulations, 2014 issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) which has been widely published in the print and electronic media”
In the statement, the MWUN declared that: “In view of the foregoing and the continued denial of our members (Dockworkers) employment opportunities by the IOCs at designated oil and gas locations with its negative impact on the welfare of our members, in addition to their continued disrespect for our laws, we are constrained to issue a 7 -day ultimatum starting from today Friday 9th April 2021 to the Federal Government, the NNPC, NPA and NIMASA, to as a matter of national interest, immediately compel the IOCs to comply and obey the statutory regulations, and also implement the communique earlier reached.