The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN have shutdown the premises of largest container terminal in Africa, APM Terminals Apapa, Lagos, over alleged racism and breach agreement reached with the union.
Recall that MWUN and the management of the APMT have in the past three weeks, been in a running battle over the replacement of Nigerians with foreign workers.
Last week, both parties entered into discussions in an attempt to resolve the issue, but failed to reach agreement after the management was alleged to have refused to give a time frame when some of the foreigners would leave. It was gathered that the management had claimed the foreigners were brought in to train Nigerians.
The President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, confirmed that the union can no longer tolerate anti-labour practices by multinational companies expecially APM Terminals operating in the nation’s maritime sector.
According to him, APM Terminals and her sister company, Maersk Line, bring in workers from smaller West African countries such as Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana to take over over jobs that can be done by Nigerians in the companies.
Speaking to Leadership, 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?” He asked rhetorically.
When asked when they will end the industrial action, Adeyanju said it will be indefinite 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, 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 declared.