.L-R: Comrade Abdulahi Bello, Vice President, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Comrade Adeyanju Adewale, President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Uche Igwe-onu, National Treasurer, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and Comrade Abdul Eroje, Deputy Secretary Organizing, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (back row) during a meeting to forestall the warning strike that the union had planned for last Wednesday
The Maritime Workers’ Union (MWUN) has commenced indefinite strike at the eastern ports owing to the sack and assault melted out to over 500 of its members working at the Integrated Logistics Limited (INTELS) and Associated Maritime Service (AMS) limited terminals.
The union stated that the two companies did not only sack its members but also maltreated them as many of the workers were beaten by security operatives attached to the two companies, while stating that many of these workers are in the hospital receiving treatment.
In a press release issued by the union on Sunday and signed by the Secretary General, Comrade Felix Akingboye, the MWUN described the sack of the workers as the height of the anti-labour practices by these two companies.
The union explained that the two companies “sacked over 500 of our members on December 4, 2020”.
In the course of the negotiations that started about a week ago, “the union requested for a break to enable it hold its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday, 4 December 2020 in the midst of negotiations to with the two companies over improved welfare and the condition of service of the workers”.
The union lamented that rather than the companies to abide with the plans, the companies rather issued sack letters to the workers while the union was having its National Executive Council meeting on Friday December 4th 2020,
Explaining the union’s plight, the MWUN said that: "We wrote to the two management to withdraw the redundancy letters for us to resume negotiations in a peaceful and harmonious environment. They did not only refuse, but follow up the redundancy letters by locking out our members on Monday December 7, 2020
"To further worsen the situation, they unleashed armed security operatives including soldiers and Policemen on the Union members and inflicted various degrees of injuries on our members , some of them are at present in hospitals receiving treatment "
The union further said it has directed its members to commence strike from today Monday December 14, 2020 pending when INTELS and AMS will withdraw the redundancy letters while calling on the Federal government to investigate the use of arms and security operatives at a peaceful gathering of workers, union urged the federal government to sanction those who brought the security operatives that brutalised and intimidated its members.
"As a law-abiding union, we cannot accept the illegal use of security operatives to deal with industrial relations issue where unarmed workers are brutalised, intimidated and harassed.
"Consequently, the union has directed its members in the Eastern Ports to down tools from Monday, December 14, 2020, and begin an indefinite industrial action pending when; the management of INTELS and AMS withdraw the redundancy letters to our members and guarantee resumption of negotiations”, the MWUN declared on Sunday.
"The Federal Government should investigate the presence of armed security operatives at a peaceful gathering of workers, sanction those who brought the security operatives that brutalised, intimidated and harassed our members and a guarantee from the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that security operatives will no longer be used to deal with or settle industrial related issues in the sector", it stated.