Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria has taken a bold step to enhance the welfare of dockworkers across the country.
To set the ball rolling, STOAN, yesterday, signed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.
Chairman of STOAN, Vicky Haastrup, who led other members of the association to sign the agreement with the union, noted that terminal operators had ensured industrial harmony at the seaports since 2006 by prioritising the welfare of dockworkers.
According to her, the agreement, which was signed at the headquarters of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in Lagos, will lead to increase in the wages, allowances and retirement benefits payable to the dockworkers. It will be operational for three years.
She said, “We are happy as employers of labour to give the dockworkers the wages they rightly deserve. It is always our joy to bring succour and joy into the hearts of our workers.
“STOAN has improved the welfare of dockworkers more than what it used to be when the ports were not concessioned.”
President-General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, commended the Federal Government for concessioning the ports to private terminal operators.
Adeyanju said the concession impacted positively on the lives of port workers through the improved welfare package instituted by terminal operators.
He added that prior to the concession in 2006, the wages of dockworkers were poor.
He said, “The era of using dockworkers as slaves in their fatherland no longer exists. We want to thank the Federal Government for concessioning the ports because that reform has changed the lives of dockworkers all over the nation’s seaports.”
Meanwhile, Executive Director, Cabotage and Maritime Labour of NIMASA, Victor Ochei, commended STOAN and MWUN for signing the lagreement, urging all concerned to ensure full implementation of the agreement for the benefit of the dockworkers.
In addition to terminal operators and the officials of MWUN, the agreement signing ceremony was also witnessed by the representatives of NIMASA, Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
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