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Maritime workers suspend planned nationwide strike

Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has suspended its planned withdrawal of members’ services from all ports, jetties and terminals nationwide.

The President-General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

“Recall that on May 10, we issued a press release, announcing the unlawful arrest and detention of 20 dockworkers in BUA/PTOL terminal in Port Harcourt Port, Rivers State by the Governor Wike Rivers State Task Force on enforcement of COVID – 19 lockdown order.

“We also clarified that these categories of port workers – dock workers — were on essential services as recognised by the Presidency and were thus, handed ‘essential port duty pass’ to enable them move freely to and from their workplaces.

“Consequent to the action of the Rivers State Task Force, the leadership of the union met and mandated the issuance of a press release to bring to public awareness the situation our members working at the Port Harcourt ports.

“In the said same press release, the union issued a 48-hour ultimatum, within which period we demanded the unconditional release of our comrades, failure which we would withdraw the services of our members in all ports, jetties and terminals in the nation.

“Comrades on the basis of our demand, well-meaning Nigerians intervened and consequently effected the release of our Comrades – dock workers while charges against them have been dropped,” he said.

Mr Adeyanju commended the prompt intervention of the Presidency; Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council; and Ayuba Wabba, President, Nigeria Labour Congress.

The unionist also commended Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority; and Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency among others for their response.

Mr Adeyanyu noted that in view of the new development, the leadership of the union met and mandated the announcement of the suspension of the planned withdrawal of its members in all ports, jetties and terminals.

“All action thus stands suspended till further notice.

“We thank the federal government, stakeholders, security agencies, port users, employers, our regulators, Nigeria Labour Congress, our members and the general public for their support in this trying period,” he said.

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