COVID-19 Guidelines: Aside APMT, PTML, Terminal Operators Not Compliant — MWUN

COVID-19 Guidelines: Aside APMT, PTML, Terminal Operators Not Compliant — MWUN

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has given a scorecard on compliance level of port terminal operators as regards implementation of COVID-19 guidelines inside the various port terminals, singling out leading container terminal operator, APM Terminals (APMT) and Ports and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) for praises, while warning non-compliant terminals of a possible strike action by port workers if they refuse to up their ante.

Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively in his office in Lagos, President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, acknowledged that some terminal operators are still in the habit of not providing full Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for port workers despite the continuous spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, warning that the union could be forced to withdraw its services from errant port terminals.

According to Comrade Adeyanju, “It’s a shame that some terminal operators still see port workers as slaves while some of them who have the love for their workers have been providing PPEs. PPEs should not be for dockworkers alone but for all port workers.

“If you go to PTML or APM terminals, you will see the workers well kitted with nose covers, hand gloves etc. But if you go to other terminals, the workers are either putting on nose masks and no hand-gloves or wearing hand gloves or no nose masks. Even to pay palliative incentives, these errant terminal operators have refused.

“It took us serious battle during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic for this set of terminal operators to pay port workers the stipend that they pay as palliatives. But now that the government has relaxed the COVID-19 lockdown, the terminal operators have stopped paying the workers palliative incentives.

“Very soon, we will be visiting the port terminals one after the other, and any terminal that we find that is not compliant with the COVID-19 guidelines as regards provision of PPEs to port workers, we will shut down such terminals or withdraw our services from such terminals.

“COVID-19 is real and the sooner we take drastic actions against errant port terminals, the better for our members who work there. It is the responsibility of the terminal operators to provide full PPEs for our members working in their terminals. It is also the responsibility of the terminal operators to provide palliative incentives for port workers in order to cushion the effects of the pandemic.

However, some of these terminal operators are in the habit of shifting these responsibilities to the stevedoring companies that they employed. How can you shift such a responsibility to a stevedoring company that cannot afford to buy an ambulance?

“If I mention the names of these errant terminal operators, then I am not doing our cause any good because we will soon be embarking on a terminal-by-terminal assessment, and shutting down non-compliant terminals.

“Go to APM Terminal or PTML, you won’t even enter without being fully kitted. I will only laud the good terminals publicly. For the errant port terminals, when we visit them on assessment tour, our action there will let the public know how they have fared.”

Source: Tribune 23 July 2020

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