NPA: WORKERS’ FATE HANG IN BALANCE, AS UNIONS’ LEADERSHIPS DISAGREE

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NPA Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi

The fate of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) workers, who in house union leaderships were purportedly fighting, for now seem to be hanging un-predictably as a meeting held on Tuesday to advance their cause, may have ended on a note that makes the management only stronger.

Emerging indication is to the effect that the NPA Management may have succeeded to a large extent, in dividing and modifying earlier resolve of the Authority’s workers  leadership to still go on strike.

The workers, through their senior staff body, the Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transportation and Corporation (SSACTAC), NPA branch and the junior arm, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), NPA branch had last week threatened to paralyze the ports this week, through a strike action, prompting the Presidency to wade in; and called for a reconciliation meeting which held on Tuesday.

The meeting which held behind closed doors, from all indications, may however have only resulted in a disagreement among the leaderships of the  two unions, with each adopting different points of view.

A member of the management who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Maritime First on Monday, that the proposed strike has been cancelled; prompting suspicion when, on Wednesday, one of the two labour unions confirmed that another meeting with NPA management has been scheduled to hold on Friday to decide on the unions’ next line of action, and  another said the proposed strike action has been suspended indefinitely.

The two unions had on Thursday last week jointly signed a letter calling on their members to stay at home from Monday 18th August, 2014 following the inability of the management of NPA to meet their demands.

The Maritime branch President of SSACTAC, Comrade Jimoh Omeiza Umar, indicated that at the end of the meeting with the NPA management on Tuesday that the strike had been suspended for one week to allow for further negotiations.

“The strike was only on hold for a week. We are still in discussions with the Authority and would meet them on Friday afternoon to know the next line of action.

“A final decision whether to suspend or embark on the strike will be taken on Friday after the meeting with NPA Management,” Umar stated further.

But the President of MWUN, NPA branch, Comrade Adeleke Sanni said the proposed strike had been suspended indefinitely because the NPA management had acceded to their demands.

“The strike has been suspended because in the meeting we have today (Tuesday) with the management of NPA they have promised to meet our demands,” Sanni said.