Maritime Workers Union seeks removal of container-laden trucks from port access roads
...Threatens industrial action on 21-day deadline
The Maritime Workers Uniion of Nigeria (MWUN) has issued a 21 days notice to some shipping companies including MAERSK LINE, PIL, MSC and MOL to move their container-laden trucks away from the port access roads to holding bays.
In a statement on Sunday, President General of the Union, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, said the aforemened companies deliberately created the gridlock around the port city, thus making access to the port very difficult, while the companies make profits off the situation.
His words: “It is with a keen sense of duty and responsibility that we wish to bring to the public space the inimical activities of some shipping industry.
Nigerians, especially Lagosians, are living witnesses to the continuous pains, danger, suffering, and intractable gridlock that heavy duty trucks have been causing over the years on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, with its negative economic consequences. We cannot continue like this.
“As a major stakeholder in the Maritime sector whose members and activities have been negatively affected by the gridlock on the access roads to the ports especially in Tin-Can and Apapa ports. We have painstakingly studied the causes of the gridlock and have identified the following shipping companies as responsible for the gridlock.
“These shipping companies which include MAERSK LINE, PIL, MSC and MOL deliberately keep the trucks and their laden containers as means of attracting demurrage payment daily from our already over-burdened members, truck owners and their drivers.
“They operate along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and do not have holding bays in absolute disregard to regulations and standards which provide that a shipping company must have a holding bay before going operational. In consequence, these companies have converted the major express road to their holding bays and packing lots, thereby hindering free flow of traffic.”
The President General used the occasion to call the attention of the Fedral and State Governments to call the shipping companies to order within the stipulated ultimatum given, failure to which the union would take necessary industrial action.
“We are using this medium to call on the Federal Government and State Government to within the next 21 days call these companies to order and compel them to stop using their private businesses to cause public nuisance.
“If at the end of the 21 days notice the appropriate government agencies fail to address our demand, the Union shall have no other option than take appropriate and necessary industrial action to protect our members and other road users such as Truck owners, drivers and the public at large.
“As a responsible social partner, we urge all concerned government regulatory agencies to take urgent action and call the aforementioned companies to order, for the betterment of Nigerians, port users and to forestall any action by our members,” Adeyanju said.