Members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have embarked on a protest against alleged anti-labour practices and the protest has disrupted activities at the premises of APM Terminals and has stopped cargo evacuation out of the Apapa Port complex.
The striking workers are alleging breached the National Joint Industrial Agreement (NJIC) signed with the union by employing foreigners on a job that can be successfully done by Nigerian workers.
Speaking on the protest, the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, said the union can no longer tolerate anti-labour practices by multinational companies operating in the nation’s maritime sector.
According to him, APM Terminals and another company, Maersk Line, bring in workers from smaller West African countries such as Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana to take over Nigerians’ jobs that can be done by Nigerians in the companies.
He said: “It has to do with anti-labour practices going on in APM Terminals, Apapa. The jobs Nigerians can do are being given to foreigners from other West African countries such as Togo, Benin Republic, Ghana. There should be timeline for these foreign workers coming to take over Nigerians’ jobs. Why will they bring a foreigner to head the finance department when we have competent Nigerians that can do the job?”
Asked when the protest end, Adeyanju said until the terminal call for a roundtable meeting to resolve the grey areas identified by the union.
“The white man heading the terminal has no regard for Nigerians, we are in our father’s land and yet he would be calling us sort of names, this is too bad.
“They don’t like us, yet they are making a lot of money in Nigeria, and taking it back to develop their own country at the expense of Nigerians,” he added.
Comrade Adeyanju urged the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to investigate and look into the expatriate quota granted APM Terminals, saying it was being abused by bringing in foreigners that take jobs belonging to Nigerians.
“Immigration should check what their work permit says, you cannot just come into this country as an expatriate, and you must have your work permit.
“Nigeria Immigration should look inward to know the expatriate quota given to this company, what their work permit says? Is it three months, six months or one year?
“We are going to all the multinational companies that do such act. We have qualified Nigerians who can handle most of these departments but they prefer to bring people from outside the country.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service should investigate these multinational companies, what did the expatriate quota says? Why should they be giving Nigerian jobs to foreigners? Using and dumping Nigerians and using foreigners to take over their jobs will not be allowed. Even Maersk Line also fall into this category and they will hear from us soon,” Adeyanju said.