The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) may declare a state of emergency on Nigerian shipping companies and force their operations to a standstill following their refusal to engage the Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) in a meeting on how to increase workers' remuneration.
In line with laid down procedure, the NLC has directed the MWUN, to issue a 21-day ultimatum to the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) to convey a meeting with the union and negotiate their workers' welfare.
In a statement issued on behalf of the union and signed by Mr. Abdullahi Eroje, the union said it has reported the matter to NLC after exhausting all legal and social means to get members of SAN to a round table discussion with representatives of MWUN in order to find redress to the inhumane, deplorable and slavish conditions her members are subjected to in their various work place.
"Having consistently ignored our myriad calls: Shipping Association of Nigeria and its members have conducted themselves in a manner which perpetually keeps our members in the Shipping Industry in penury and pain: in most cases they have been stagnated on one salary structure for over twenty years, worst wage structure, anti-union activities, burdensome tariff regimes and so on.
"They have formed themselves into lodges above and impervious to our National laws breaching every rule of industrial relations thus, engendering a failure in our social partnership where existed at all," it stated.
"We have reported the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) to the Nigeria Labour Congress, our National Labour Centre, which has directed that in the interest of industrial peace in the shipping industry in Nigeria, albeit, Maritime Sector that the SAN convene a meeting in the next 21 days with representatives of the Union.
"Please note that in the event of SAN's non-compliance, the union will be constrained to declare a state of emergency in the Shipping sector Nigeria," the statement stated.