Labour threatens to shut seaports over salary review

The Nigeria Labour Congress has threatened to close the country's seaports if the government does not address some of the sector's challenges.

The NLC President, Joseph Ajaero, stated this to journalists on Friday in Apapa during a courtesy visit to the President of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Adewale Adeyanju.

Ajaero charged Adeyanju with giving the Federal Government a two-week deadline to review workers' salaries and address some of the sector's challenges.

According to him, the government should clarify who is responsible for reviewing port concession agreements.

He went on to say that no one could blame the MWUN for not being patient enough after two years of waiting.

"You wrote to the minister of transportation in 2021 August and 2022 passed, and we are approaching August 2023," he said. President, if it is possible, give them a two-week deadline beginning today. If they don't call us, you know how important maritime is in Nigeria and throughout Africa. Nobody will work on anything related to our employees.

"Labour has been writing on this issue since 2021, and it is now 2023. As NLC president, I have no sympathy for anyone who is working against the interests of our workers. The choice is yours, MWUN president. When you've made your decision, write them a letter and close the country's seaport."

Ajaero charged the relevant ministries, including the ministries of transportation and labor, with carrying out their responsibilities.

"If they do not act, the NLC will join you. "We will conduct a solidarity action for you," he added.

Reacting, the President of MWUN, Adeyanju, said, "We will be giving two weeks ultimatum to the Minister of Transportation to come and explain who is regulating terminal operators. And if nothing is done, we will cease port operations. Thank you for issuing the ultimatum, and I'd like to confirm that it will begin on Monday, March 6, 2023. If the government does not respond, we will close the port."

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