Lagos - The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Saturday said that it had suspended its three -day-old strike which had paralysed activities at the nation’s ports.
This is contained in a communique issued in Lagos and jointly signed by Olumide Oduntan, Executive Director of Finance at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the President-General of the MWUN, Anthony Nted.
The agreement was reached after a meeting between the representatives of NPA and MWUN on Saturday on Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to the communiqué, all outstanding payments to tally clerks and on board security men are now top priorities that will be paid as soon as the Treasury Single Account (TSA) issues have been resolved.
It further said, "All statutory payments to NPA and charges due to stevedoring contractors on MV Hawk that berthed midstream at Bonny must be paid before the vessel is allowed to sail."
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The MWUN, which commenced a nationwide strike on Thursday, was not happy with the non-payment of tally clerks and onboard security men in the last nine months.
The President of the Shippers’ Association in Lagos State, Jonathan Nicol, disclosed that vessels were now diverting to the Cotonou Port due to the strike by maritime workers.
According to him, vessels are now moving to other countries to offload their cargoes.
He said the association was disappointed by the neglect of the maritime workers in the country by NPA, adding that, "Strikes in Nigerian ports have become a recurring disgrace".
Nicol said it was 'harrowing' for shippers to be made to pay demurrage on vessels and cargoes due to strike.
The shipper said NPA could not direct terminal operators to waive demurrage when issues that prompted strikes at the ports were not the fault of the shippers.