Following the sack of 500 Maritime workers by two companies in the Eastern Ports, in addition to brutal treatment unleashed on them the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has effective Monday declared an indefinite strike to press home the challenge of anti-labour practice by two companies in the region.
A press statement from MWUN signed by its Secretary General, Comrade Felix Akingboye, revealed an increasing unfair labour practice and assault on the Union members in Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS) Nigeria Limited and Associated Maritime Services (AMS) Limited.
According to the statement, the height of the anti-labour practices by these two companies were the sack of over 500 of MWUN members on December 4, 2020 in the midst of the Union’s negotiations with the companies over improved welfare and the conditions of service for workers (MWUN members).
“In the course of the negotiations that started about a week earlier, the Union requested for a break to enable it hold its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday, 4 December 2020.
“To our greatest shock, while the Union was holding its NEC, the two companies issued redundancy letters to over 500 of our members.
“We wrote to the two managements to withdraw the redundancy letters for us to resume negotiations in a peaceful and harmonious environment.
“They did not only refuse, but followed 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.
“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,” the statement read.
MWUN threatened that the strike remains indefinite until a three-point agenda of restoration of its workers, investigation of the brutality by the federal government, followed by sanction of the culprits and a guarantee by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that security operatives will no longer be used to deal with industrial relations issues in the Sector.
“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 federal government 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 relations issues in the sector,” the statement added.