By Omenihu Alfred fibmn

The leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress has issued another notification for an impending strike action against the international oil companies (IOCs) in a duelly signed letter by it’s national Present, Comrade Ayuba Wabba mni to the minister of transport recently to call his attention to the issue in the Maritime sector that is about to shatter the industrial peace and Harmony that has been consciously built through the intervention of the Hon minister and the efforts of their union sector – the Maritime Workers union of Nigeria.

Furthermore, it states that in line with extant Maritime lawas in Nigeria especially the Nigerian Maritime administration and safety agency (NIMASA) Act 2097, a government marine notice No 106, 2014 was issued to stakeholders in the sector. The government Marine notice 106 mandated all companies and persons engaged in stevedoring work including Dock Labour Employer and private Operators of any work location including Ports, Jetties, Onshore or offshore oil and gas or bonded terminals, inland container depots (ICDs), off dock terminal, dry ports and platforms to engage stevedoring workers and companies to carry out the operations on their platforms and premises.

Continuing, the letter noted that government Maritime notice 106 is also in tandem with article 3(2) of international Labour organization (ILO) duck work convention 137 which Nigeria ratified on the 22nd of March 2004 and which states ” Registered dockworkers shall have priority of engagement for dock work”. Unfortunately, while other operators bin the sector have allowed registered stevedoring companies and duck workers access to their platforms and premises in compliance with the Marine notice 106, international oil companies have been in wilful disobedience to the notice mandate.

The union reminded the Minister that the Maritime Workers union of Nigeria had brought this matter to his attention a number of times d even issued ultimatum for strike actions in the past including 3-days warning strike which was eventually suspended a d 14 days notice of strike action issued in April 2021.

The body here reminded the minister of the meeting held on the 30th of June 2021 on same matter, where the Minister directed the IOCs to comply fully and immediately within seven days. Sadly till now the IOCshas flagrantly paid deaf attention to the mandate. The union hereby expresses displeasure that this matter has lingered without solution for four years, hence forcing MWUN to issue a notice strike action for 1st of March 2022. Upon the expiration the expiration of the latest notice of Nationwide strike action on February 28, 2022 the union was again entreated by the management of Nigerian Ports Authority at a meeting held with the union and concerned stakeholders especially the IOCs. At the meeting, an understanding was reached that within two weeks and effective from 28 February 2022. The union noted that they are in full support of this descion unfortunately since February 28 2022 the IOCs have refused to sign the MOU reached at the meeting hence the union seems the intervention if the Honourable Minister to prevent the shutdown of all Maritime operations in Nigeria any moment from now as the union is set for action at the expiration of the two weeks timeline..