Govt, maritime workers reach accord, suspend planned strike

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Blueprint on participation in cooperative underway

THE Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has suspended its planned industrial action following a truce by the federal ministry of Labour and Productivity.

The decision to suspend the strike was taken in Abuja after a conciliatory meeting at the instance of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh,

In attendant at the meeting were representatives of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), maritime workers union and National Association of Stevedoring Companies.

In response to the threat letter from the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) over the demand for immediate payment of wage arrears to Tally Clerks and On Board Security Gangway Men and Stoppage of Use of Cargo Surveyors in the nation’s Seaports, a conciliatory meeting was held to resolve the impasse.

The maritime workers expressed the challenges facing the Union and the need to urgently effect payment to address the deprivation faced by their members. The Management of the NPA also expressed their understanding of the situation and pledged their commitment to peaceful industrial harmony.

At the end of the exhaustive deliberation, it was resolved that the Tally Clerks and On-Board Security Gangway Men should be paid arrears of their salaries and wages; that the Federal Ministry of Transport should on or before 13th July, 2015 direct in writing, in furtherance of the letter Reference No. T.160/S166/T.214 dated 4th June, 2015 the Nigeria Ports Authority to pay the arrears of salaries due the Tally Clerks and On-Board Security Gangway Men; that the Nigeria Ports Authority on receiving the letter should meet with the Stevedores and the MWUN to work out modalities for the commencement of the payment before 30th July, 2015; hat a meeting to assess progress on the payment of the arrears has been slated for 23rd July, 2015.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by a representative of Transport, H.D Mohammed, National President of the Association of Stevedoring Companies, Bolaji Sunmola, Executive Director of Marine and Operations of NPA , David Omonibeke, President General of MWUN and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government will initiate a blueprint for private sector participation in Cooperative system in the country.
Towards realizing this, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity is presently working on a long-term economic and investment action plan in collaboration with stakeholders in the Cooperative sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh, revealed this in a statement to commemorate the celebration of the 2015 International Day of Cooperative.

He said: “The Ministry is presently working on a sustainable Economic and Investment Action Plan for Development and Management of Cooperative system in Nigeria in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. The blueprint shall be a veritable business model for private sector participation.”

Dr. Illoh also declared the Ministry’s readiness to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the coordination and supervision of the National Cooperative system in line with the Cooperative Development Act CAP C 27 of 2004.

He stressed that cooperative system is a catalyst for both national and global socio-economic development with timeline for opportunities such as savings, income generation, cross fertilization of idea, global financial synergy, management and industrial skills transfer which is celebrated worldwide on 4th of July annually to showcase the role of cooperative in global socio-economic development.

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