The maritime sector has lost over 6,000 jobs to economic recession, as many companies closed shop due to liquidity challenges, the President, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Emmanuel Nted, has said.
Nted said this at the union’s National Executive Council Meeting and Special Delegates Conference in Lagos.
According to him, Intels retrenched over 3,000 workers because of harsh operating environment since the economic recession started.
He said the losses of job are affecting the union as more workers were faced with insecurity, which had exposed the lives of their families to high risks.
The MWUN president said it has become more difficult to protect the jobs of members in various branches, as the union had not been able to discuss the review of conditions of service.
“Where collective bargaining agreement and conditions of services negotiations are due for review, the union is forced to accept marginal increases where possible and trading off increment, with withdrawal of redundancy threats.
“We appeal to the government to find urgent solution to the recession before it escalates,’’ Nted said.
He also urged the government to fix the deplorable roads leading to the seaports, as it had affected the nation’s economy.
The union leader said that apart from the airports and the land borders, the seaports were another entry points for foreigners into the country.
He said that quick action should be taken to start reconstruction of the roads leading to the seaports, since the contract had been awarded, to avoid industrial action.
On Tally Clerks and On-board Security men, Nted expressed the hope that justice would be served for the workers to enable them get back to work.
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said the Agency had approved the training of 1,200 seafarers.
According to Peterside, seafarers of different categories, who are members of the MWUN will be trained in four major accredited NIMASA institutes in the country in the first quarter of 2017.
The Director-General, who was represented by the Director, Labour and Maritime Services, Mrs Juliana Gunwa, said the Agency had inaugurated a National Joint Industrial Committee for the review of salaries of seafarers and dockworkers.
He said that the objective was to ensure that Nigerian seafarers and dockworkers earn decent wages and equally enjoy other welfare packages like their counterparts abroad.