By Godwin Oritse
IN a bid to maintain industrial harmony in the Nigerian maritime industry, the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, NASC, has begun negotiation with Seaport Terminal Association of Nigeria, STOAN, on the review of rates payable to stevedores.
Recall that after several months of negotiations, an agreement between the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, and Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria on pay increase for maritime workers was signed two weeks ago.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report, president of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola, said that any moment from now negotiations on the new rates for stevedores with terminal operators will commence.
Sunmola also disclosed that besides his group and terminal operators, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, will also be part of the negotiations.
On if these upward review of rates and wages will not lead to increased port costs, Sunmola said the reviews will not in any way lead to increase in port costs adding that the reviews have always been in line with agreed terms signed long before now.
He stated: “We will be meeting with STOAN and other stakeholders for a review of the rates for stevedoring companies.
“Apart from us, the leadership of the Maritime Workers Union, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA will also be part of the meeting. If you recall, we just finished negotiation and signing of agreement on the increased dockworkers wages and entitlements, we will soon meet to discuss and review the rates for stevedoring firms.”