Palpable fear has gripped the workforce in the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) as rumours of imminent fresh retrenchment makes the round and the two house unions say that they are ready for serious showdown with the management over the issue.
Whereas, all official sources in NPA denied knowledge of the impending exercise which may see about 1000 employees being thrown out, the NPA branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) insists that the union had already got wind of the plan by the management “to carry out another retrenchment after the federal government had already embargoed staff rationalisation on account of the global melt down”.
Branch president of the union, Comrade Leke Sanni told Shipping Position Weekly that the leadership of the union is already inundated with worries by its members who wanted to know the stand of union on the impending purge.
“As far as the MWUN is concerned it is not possible, it is still a rumour, we have not been told, there is a procedure for carrying pout anything like that since it has to do with our members livelihood” he said.
“When we heard about it, we wrote a letter to management requesting for a meeting, but they refused to invite us but if they go ahead with it then the union will have no option than to protect its members”, he stressed.
The same stand was taken by the president of NPA senior staff association, comrade Umar Jimoh who also said that the union was yet to be officially informed about the plan to sack more employees.
“It’s a rumour because we are yet to be told by management, the other time when 500 were disengaged; we were called for a meeting” he pointed recalled even a she assured our correspondent that the two house unions would not compromise the rights of the workers of NPA in the event that the management decides to go ahead with the plan.
Sources informed our correspondent that the fear became more intense after the recent meeting between the organisation management and the board led by Chief Tony Anenih who was alleged to have argued that NPA had to shed some of its workforce.
However, the assistant general manager, corporate affairs at NPA, Mr Musa Ilya told Shipping Position Weekly that the kernel of the meeting had already been made public and that there was no talk about staff rationalisation at all at the meeting. He assured that management has no plans to disengage any of the organisation’s employees.
But, majority of the employees who spoke to our correspondent confirmed the impending lay-off and accused the management of insincerity.