NPA workers shelve strike to honour Presidency

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“… Workers welfare must not deteriorate further”—Umar.

A strike action, planned by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) workers to totally paralyze the nation’s ports, has been put on hold.

NPA Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi
NPA Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi

In its place, there may however be a partial strike on Monday and Tuesday, as a mark of respect, by workers, to a timely intervention from the Presidency, which has also directed that workers and NPA management must meet on Tuesday, with the aim of ironing out their difference.

While the presidency was insisting that another strike action, especially from the country’s ports might send the wrong signals to the international community, the union workers maintained that workers could no longer fold their hands and watch welfare deteriorates beyond this pathetic level.

The workers decided to go on war path, having perceived that the current management was  consistently denying them promotion, while reneging at implementing earlier negotiated agreements.

Speaking further, NPA Senior Staff Association (SSA) leader, Comrade O. Umar told the Maritime First, that there were indeed, some workers who had remained on the same spot for 8 to 10 years, even though, they have continued to put in their best, on daily basis.

“On the issue of promotion, it varied from workers to workers. Some have been on the same sport 10 years. Some eight years. It was something this management inherited. It was something that accumulated” he indicated further, noting that while earlier management had approach the subject with tender heart; this current one had kept a frightening distance from it.

But he also confirmed that the planned strike has now been put on hold, as a mark of honour for the Presidency which waded into it and insisted that both the Union and management must meet on Tuesday.

“The Presidency has waded into it. And we have to give them that honour. But on Tuesday, after the meeting between us and the management, we will take a final decision”, the SSA leader said, stressing that workers were indeed battle ready to embark on a long strike action.

While efforts to speak with the NPA image-maker, Assistant General Manager, Musa Iliyah failed as he was not answering his calls, another Public Relation Department officer, confirmed this, even as he highlighted that management was leaving no stones unturned, to ensure that the strike action was nipped in the butt.

“Management is already working on the grey areas” he stated further, adding that a lot would be achieved, before Tuesday.

Some of the workers specifically complained that the current management style was neither sufficiently proactive nor significantly improving the good image of their organization.