The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria ( MWUN) has threatened to shutdown port operations over the failure of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to review workers salaries for the past 18 years.
The last time NPA reviewed workers salary was in 2004.
Speaking at a meeting with the NPA branch of MWUN at the union’s secretariat in Lagos on Tuesday, President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said it is unacceptable that NPA as the landlord of the ports has not reviewed workers salary for the past 18 years when other agencies including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA) are enjoying steady promotions and salary increase.
Adeyanju, who lamented the silence of the NPA Branch President, Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli on the matter, however, apologized to the workers for the delay and the ill -treatment by the NPA management as he wasn’t informed of the issue until recently.
He said the failure of NPA to review workers salary for over 18 years is a clear violation of labour practices just as he vowed that NPA would be made to pay the arrears on the salary delay.
The MWUN boss explained that the demand for an upward review of workers’ salary is a right which must not be mortgaged by few individuals.
“From 2004 till date there has been no salary increase and that is not acceptable. I never knew about this anomaly because your branch president was keeping this silent from me. This matter came to my notice on October 1st when some senior members of NPA came to my house to inform me.
“The truth is that all not well in the NPA, the workers are not being treated well, their salaries are poor, there is stagnation in workers promotion, and we are ready to go all the way with NPA management.
“We have supported this management enough, it is now time for them to reward us back by paying our members properly.
“Enough is enough. We can’t close our eyes and allow somebody to put stick in our eyes. We would even shut the ports if the management refuse to act,” he warned.
Comrade Adeyanju, who lauded recent steps taken by NPA management on harmonisation of salaries, as well as plans to approve housing grants to workers, however noted that workers must not be denied of their rights.
Also speaking, Deputy President General of MWUN, Comrade Harry Tonye lamented that workers in NPA have remained stagnated for years as they are not only being denied their right wages but promotion as at when due.
He also lamented shortage of junior staff in NPA.
He said, “For over 16 years those of us in level 7 have remained in level 7. They said some of us have jammed bar, and there is no promotion and salary increment. There is also shortage of junior staff and if NPA did not employ junior staff between now and February there will be no junior staff anymore in NPA.”
Earlier, President NPA Branch, MWUN, Comrade Ifeanyi Mazeli highlighted the numerous challenges facing the workers in NPA.