Tally clerks and onboard security men disengaged from the port in 2005 can now heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Government has approved the payment of their severance benefits.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) had last year commenced verification to settle outstanding payments owed tally clerks and onboard security of the union’s dockworkers’ branch.
According to the president-general of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, the directive for the payment came from the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in a letter dated September 5, 2019.
The minister, in the letter to the MWUN, directed the union to liaise with the NPA for necessary action.
The letter, signed on behalf of the minister by the deputy director, coastal and ports administration, Balarabe Wali, read, “Further to our letter dated 8th August, 2019, on the above subject matter, I am to inform you that approval has been granted for the payment of severance benefits to the verified disengaged tally clerks and onboard security men as recommended, to maintain peaceful industrial harmony. You may, therefore, liaise with the NPA for further details and necessary action.”
The union, in a statement issued at the weekend, has expressed appreciation to the minister and the management of NPA for supporting the cause of the workers.
The MWUN president said, “The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria had cause in the past to inform you of the several engagements and dialogues we have had with the Nigerian Ports Authority, Federal Ministry of Transport and Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment on the need to pay severance benefits to our members – tally clerks and onboard gangway securitymen whose services were disengaged during the port concessioning exercise.
“During all of these various engagements and negotiations and in spite of attempted disruption of the process of dialogue, we dutifully maintained peace and decorum in the industry and refused to be distracted from our goal.
“Sequel to the foregoing, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria is delighted to announce that the Federal Government has directed and given approval for payment of severance benefits to the already verified tally clerks and onboard gangway security men.
“We are also pleased to announce that we are in receipt of a letter from the Federal Ministry of Transportation which conveyed this approval while also directing the Union to liaise with the NPA management to effect same.”
Adeyanju expressed appreciation to members, stakeholders, management of NPA, minister and permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport and the minister and permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, for their support to the workers.