The Nigerian Labour Congress has written to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, informing him of an impending industrial action in the maritime industry over the continued refusal of the International Oil Companies to engage Nigerian dockworkers through registered stevedoring companies as required by law.
This was disclosed in a letter titled, ‘Notice to Embark on Strike Action Against the International Oil Companies.’
In the letter, the President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said one of its affiliates, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, had been engaging with the IOCs over their continued refusal to comply with ‘Marine Notice 106.’
According to the NLC, IOCs are mandated by law to allow stevedoring companies and registered dockworkers have access to their platforms.
It said, “We write to seek the firm intervention of the Minister to prevent the shutdown of all maritime operations in Nigeria any moment from now as the union is poised to take action at the expiration of the two weeks timeline.
“Any action undertaken by our affiliate union, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum, will receive the full backing and solidarity support from the NLC. The Government Marine Notice 106 is also in tandem with Article 3 (2) of International Labour Organization, Dock work Convention 137, which Nigeria ratified on the 22nd of March 2004.
“Unfortunately, while other operators in the sector have allowed registered stevedoring companies and dock workers access to their platforms and premises in compliance with Marine Notice 106, IOCs have been in willful disobedience to the directives contained in Government Marine Notice 106.
“Sadly, till now, International Oil Companies have arrogantly and with grand Impunity disregarded the Minister’s directives.”
The Nigerian Ports Authority had summoned IOCs to an urgent meeting on Tuesday over the non-implementation of the agreement reached at a stakeholders’ meeting two weeks ago directing IOCs to implement the ‘Marine Notice 106’ and allow stevedoring companies access their platforms.