The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has backed the call for an upward review of tariffs payable on imported vehicles at the Ports and Terminals Multiservices Limited (PTML) at Tin Can Island port in Lagos.
The union in a press statement issued on Friday said the request has become of utmost priority sequel to the prevailing harsh economy, even as it added that the tariffs in question have been operated over a decade and require a review to bring it up to date.
The union also appealed to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to accede to the request of Ports and Terminals Multiservices Limited (PTML) for an increment in vehicle tariffs in other for the terminal to meet up with the welfare of dockworkers at the terminal.
The press statement reads in part: “Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) wishes to inform the general public and other relevant agencies, particularly the Nigerian Shippers’ Council of the recent call/proposal made by PTML and other terminals to the management of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to wit: request for an increment in the vehicle/car tariffs which according to them has not been reviewed for over a decade.
“PTML and other terminals operators under the umbrella of the Seaports Terminals Operators (STOAN) have over the years borne the burden of wages, salaries, and allowances; with management of dockworkers as in saner economic climes, which unfortunately they cannot further shoulder due to general inflation rate, deteriorating economic condition; increasing operational/administrative costs; high rate of exchange value and other such economic factors.
“Consequent upon the above, PTML and other terminals operators have indicated their inability to meet with the provisions of the minimum standard of dock labour, which they recently negotiated and signed for implementation as was supervised by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and NIMASA; unfortunately, the prevailing situation in the nation’s economy had directly hampered their capacity to implement the subsisting NJIC agreement.
“As a result of the above and the inability of management to meet its obligations, and dockworkers’ expectations, there’s now rising tension amongst the rank and file of our members in all the terminals, ports, jetties, and all oil and gas platforms.
“We, therefore, call on the management of NSC to give kind consideration to the proposal of PTML and other terminals operators for a review of the vehicle/car tariffs and other freights charges as obtained in ENL, Josep dam, Port and Cargo, and other terminals alike to enable them meet their obligations to our members – Dockworkers to forestall an imminent break down of industrial peace in our nation’s seaports as they are the economic regulators in this sector”, the union stated.