The Maritime Workers’ Union has issued a two-week ultimatum to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to pay the eight months salary arrears owed tally clerks and security men who work at the sea ports and terminals.
According to the President General of the union, Anthony Nted, all previous engagement with the ports management has not yielded much. He said the situation might lead to an industrial action if the payments were not made.
He, however, outlined other grievances to include the indiscriminate parking of truck leading to the ports, the deplorable state of roads and relocating tank farms along access road to the sea ports.
Comrade Nted pointed out that the union was not interested in paralysing the ports because of its implication in the nation’s economy. He said that the union had decided to shelve the planned strike and gave NPA a two-week ultimatum to prevail on the companies to pay their debts.
He, however, warned that should the affected companies fail to pay within the two weeks ultimatum, the entire ports would be shut down without notice.
The maritime President appealed to the management of NPA to ensure that things did not degenerate to that level.
On the issue of unpaid arrears to on-board security and tally clerks, he said everything was almost concluded for the payment of the over two years arrears, explaining that the payment could be made within the next three weeks, as the board of NPA last week approved payment of the arrears.
The affected companies include Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Chevron/Texaco, Agip Energy & Natural Resources, Lammalco Nigeria Ltd, Murphy Shipping, Globestar Nigeria Ltd, Hyundai Heavy Industry Nigeria Ltd, ESSO Exploration Production Nigeria ltd, NAOC, TIDEX , Seabulk off shore, Saipem group, Wilbross, Moni Pulo Nigeria Ltd, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited ADDAX Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd, Amni Petroleum, SNEPCO Ltd, Hydrodive Nig Ltd, Red Transport Nigeria Ltd and Edison Chouset offshore Ltd.
Comrade Nted lamented that the aggrieved workers had been passing through untold hardships and suffering.
“The continued denial of the payment of these dues to the dockworkers – a suffering class of workers, some of whom have died while waiting for the payment – is inhuman and unacceptable.
“As the Authority charged with the responsibility of superintending over the Port operations, we demand that the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority enforces the directive to the companies to pay up the bills without further delay. We further wish to state that we may be forced to withdraw the services of the dockworkers from all our seaports if the payment is not made. Injury to one is injury to all,” he warned.