ENL DOCKWORKERS WIN PARTIAL VICTORY IN A JUDGEMENT; VOW TO APPEAL
The ENL Dockworkers have engaged the ENL Consortium (Operator of Terminals C and D of Apapa Sea Port) in a struggle over unpaid 8 years of time related wage of N33,000, which is the minimum wage for dockworkers.
(compiled by Rufus Olusesan and Chinedu Bosah, CDWR)
There was a National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) agreement reached in May 2008 by the Terminal Operators and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and was implemented partly because only the paltry terminal benefit of N350,000 was paid. The reason for the minimum wage is to guarantee dockworkers a minimum wage in addition to wages on tonnage considering the fact that dockworkers who were paid tonnage alone in the past means that dockworkers wage was not only unstable but mostly poor. Unfortunately, the Maritime workers union leadership collaborated with the Terminal Operators to deny workers of the benefits while the regulators (NPA, NIMASA) looks the other way.
After several public protests to NPA, NIMASA, the dockworkers sued the ENL Consortium in the National Industrial Court (NIC) in 2017. The matter in court has been characterized by numerous adjournment and frivolous applications by ENL Consortium. The ENL Consortium has claimed that the Dockworkers are casuals and should not benefit from the agreement.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Gwandu on Tuesday February 25, 2020 and did not grant the claim for the payment of N33,000 because the association that negotiated on behalf of the Terminal Operators does not have the legal right to operate as a union, hence the agreement becomes invalid. The judgment only granted the claim for Pension and ordered the ENL Consortium to pay the pension of 2006 to 2011. The Dockworkers have resolved to appeal the matter through their lawyer, Barrister Toluwani Adebiyi.