By Victor Ahiuma-Young
The Federal Government through the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, has waded into the dispute between the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and shipping companies operating in Nigeria over the Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, and poor remuneration of workers.
MWUN had issued a 7-day strike notice to shipping companies in Nigeria over alleged anti-labour practices including poor salaries, retirement benefits, and poor working conditions, threatening to cripple the operations of the shipping companies at the expiration of the notice if its grievances were not addressed.
The strike notice was to compel the shipping firms under the aegis of the Shipping Association of Nigeria, SAN, to sign a CBA with the union, failing which workers would withdraw their services from the companies.
The President-General of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, had lamented that while other branches of MWUN had existing CBA with their employers, SAN, the umbrella body for multinational shipping companies operating in the country had been dodging its responsibility by asking workers to negotiate individually with their employers.
However, in a statement Wednesday, MWUN said it was suspending the strike notice following the Minister’s intervention through the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC.
According to the statement, “The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria under the leadership of the President General, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, has suspended the seven-day ultimatum over the refusal of employers of labour in the shipping sector to negotiate the minimum standard of remuneration and conditions of service for workers in the shipping industry.
“The suspension of the ultimatum by the Union is coming on the heels of Nigeria Shippers Council, NSC’s intervention on the said matter has given strong indication to the Union on resolving the issue.
“The Ministry of Transport through the Nigeria Shippers Council has intervened and has called for a meeting scheduled for 13th April 2023 to hold at the Nigeria Shippers Council in Lagos.”