After the intervention of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has suspended the shutdown of APM Terminals, Apapa over anti-labour practice.
After a meeting with the executive secretary of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello, yesterday in his office, the president general of MWUN, Com. Adewale Adeyanju, warned other multinational companies in the maritime sector to desist from bringing in expatriates from Benin Republic, Ghana and other West African countries to takeover jobs meant for Nigerians.
Adeyanju said the union has suspended picketing of APM Terminals Apapa, saying, for over 16 years, MWUN has never shut down or issue any ultimatum on the terminal.
He, however, said the present management of APM Terminals does not have regards for the dockworkers and terminal workers that are working for them.
Adeyanju alleged that the terminal collapsed security department and brought in expatriates from Benin Republic to takeover the jobs meant for Nigerians. He said the collapsed department was done without due process even when the union had an existing agreement with the union that they have to work with the MWUN.
According to him, “they violated the agreement and they never have any regards for the union to call for a proper meeting,” saying, that was what caused the protest that lasted for two days at the terminal.
He said, “the management is trying to bring in workers from Cotonou and Ghana to take over the job Nigerians have been trained for. The terminal workers in APMT are the best workers anyone can think of and what they are doing now is to bring in Beninoise to take over the jobs all in the name of expatriates.
“We said no, if this company can collapse a department, they might equally extended it to other departments having it in mind to replace all Nigerians with foreigners. The worst thing they did was to bring in an accountant from Ghana to become director of finance. Are they saying we do not have qualified accountant in Nigeria?”
However, he called on the Nigerian government to look inwards by beaming its searchlight on foreigners and their work permit expiration date, noting that, the Nigerian Immigration Service and other agencies on foreign affairs should work round the clock to put the expatriates in check.
Responding, the executive secretary, of the NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello,, commended the effort of the union for the scientific approach in the industrial action against APM Terminals.
Bello also accused APM Terminals of resisting regulation saying, request for information by the council was turned down by management of the terminal.
“Some terminals are bent on bending rules of this country, they have no respect for the law. This is a letter from the same terminal saying they won’t obey our instructions.”
He said the council and the union would work assiduously to sustain the peace and harmony that have existed in port operations, pointing out that, the terminal operator has allegedly refused to abide to the laws of the land.