NLC Strike Day 2: Dockworkers Cripple Seaport Activities

‎There are strong indications that the nationwide strike action embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has gathered momentum at the nation’s ports as its affiliate; the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) yesterday crippled activities at major seaport terminals in Apapa Lagos.
 
Shipping Position Daily confirmed many of the terminals were deserted yesterday due to refusal of dockworkers to show up for work.  Some of the terminals affected at the Apapa port area were APM Terminals, Floor Mills, while those at the Tin Can Island Port area included Ports and Cargo Handling Company, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, as well as 5star Logistics Terminals.
 
A senior executive of MWUN told our correspondent that the union as an affiliate of the NLC has complied fully with the directive of the NLC to down tools and shut down all port operations.
 
“We are an affiliate of NLC and we cannot go against the directive of the NEC that decided that we should go on strike because of this fuel hike, but while it looks as if it is not effective at the ports is because there is no ship at all, people don't even have money to transport themselves from home to their place of work”
 
“The port has been on strike for the past six months, if you look at Apapa there is no single ship there, which other strike do we want to embark upon? When government has caused indefinite strike at the nation's seaport with their obnoxious policies of APC government” 
 
“We have complied fully, even where there is ship there is no work” the comrade stated.
 
He confirmed to our correspondent that many of the terminals have not received vessels for the past six months, and that for some time now, some of the dockworkers have not been working. According to him, the aforementioned terminals were the only ones that have been having ships and these were the ones affected by the strike.
 
Speaking further, the unionist told our correspondent that “Take a tour from berth one to berth 20, aside from Floor Mills ship which is not working because of the instruction, there is no ship, APMT and SIFAX which are containerized terminals also have ships but there is no work there”
 
Also confirming the state of the ports to Shipping Position Daily via telephone yesterday, Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX Group, Mr. Olumuyiwa Akande told our correspondent that its terminal; Ports and Cargo was affected by the strike and that there was no activity at the terminal.
  
“The strike has affected us, we are unable to work, you know the maritime workers union is an affiliate of the NLC, so they participated in the strike, we hope it will not last long, we hope it is resolved early  so that we can go back to our normal activities|” 
 
“Apart from the fact that ships could not discharge at the berths, hand ling of cargoes and receiving of cargoes could not hold. We pray it is resolved early so that it does not affect our clients; some of them are operating based on deadline” Mr. Akande confirmed.
 
Several calls placed to the spokesperson of the APMT, Mr. Austine Fitsher were not answered.