The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and Josepdam Port Services (JPS); the operator of Terminal ‘A’ at the Tin Can Island Port have met over the recent sack of about 20 workers at the terminal.
Josepdam Port Services recently sacked 20 of its workers, comprising of five senior workers in the level of managers and 15 junior workers.
In an immediate reaction, the President General of MWUN; Comrade Adewale Adeyanju had vowed that the union would resist the sack or pay cut for workers by employers who may plan to use the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic as an excuse.
However, our correspondent confirmed that after the sack, the leadership of the MWUN met with the management of the terminal.
A source at the meeting who pleaded anonymity revealed to our correspondent that some of the workers were discovered to have joined JPS with fake certificates, and as a result, they were asked to leave.
He added that, about seven of the sacked staff were discovered to have tendered fake certificates, while others were asked to go due to the emergence of new board and the current restructuring that took place at the terminal.
According to the source, “at the meeting which we had with JPS as to why they have to lay-off about 20 of their workers, they explained that the terminal has a new board and this led to restructuring effort at the port terminal. And due to this, many workers were asked to go, including some workers that joined JPS from a company called TAG, a fertilizer company.
“The terminal operator told us when we met them that, the current restructuring efforts also exposed some workers who joined the company with fake certificates. About six or seven workers were discovered to have joined JPS with fake certificates. These set of workers were also asked to go.
“Also, JPS said with prevailing economic realities, it had to collapse its commercial department and off-load all the workers there. About five senior workers were affected in this regard. The company said it has merged its commercial department with the office of its Deputy Managing Director. During our meeting, the JPS management told us that as a terminal operator, they don’t need a Commercial Department.
“At that meeting with JPS management, we demanded for the payment of all entitlement to the sacked workers. We cannot stop JPS from restructuring its operations. The company has a right to restructure.
“We have taken responsibility and negotiated the exits of all sacked workers. Everybody affected in the restructuring effort will get their entitlement and benefit depending on length of years of work at JPS.
“The President General at the meeting stated that the union will ensure the sacked workers get their Leave Allowance, Pension Gratuity and other benefits. The management of JPS even told us that they have monetized the official cars of some affected senior workers at a lower rate”, he said.