Workers Disrupt Firm’s Operations Over Unpaid Salaries, Pensions

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (3rd left), with Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Business Bureau and Private Property Protection, Ikponmwosa Osayande (left), Director General, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Yewande Sadiku (4th left), Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICMG Securities Limited, Michael Osime (4th right), Acting Director General, Nigerian Governors' Forum Secretariat, Alhaji Abdullateef Shittu (right); Jason wang of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Ltd (3rd right) and others, at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in China, recently.

Some workers of an indigenous company operating in Rivers State, Muffy Shipping and Commercial Services Limited are on a collision course with their management, following alleged non-payment of salaries for six months.
Already, the workers have disrupted operations at the firm for eight weeks, blocking the only entrance into the firm with canopy and chairs to prevent anyone including management from having access into the premises located on Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt.
Our reporter who witnessed the picketing on Monday was informed that since July 16 this year, the workers converged on the entrance and kept vigil there every week day from 8am to 5pm to press home their demands.
Speaking to newsmen, weekend, a staff of the firm and Secretary General, Senior Staff Association Shipping, Clearing and Freight Forwarders Agencies (SSASCFA), Muffy Branch, Avuru Chijioke, said over 60 workers of the firm are affected.
Chijioke further said that they took the action after several efforts to seek the attention of the management in Port Harcourt for almost two months did not yield any result, adding that the firm’s headquarter in Lagos has also not responded to their complaints.
“We have been suffering in this company for long. After owing two to three months salaries, they will pay one month. So, it has now amounted to five, six months now and management is not talking to us.
“They always complain that the Nigerian economy is in recession. That is why we picket this place for eight weeks now. We started this picketing on 16 of July, 2018.
“We are over 60 staff working in this branch,” Chijioke said, even as he said many workers have resigned out of frustration,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman, Maritime Workers Union, a body for junior workers, Comrade Morgan Reward, said averagely workers have served the firm for 15 years, saying, “Muffy Shipping has been deducting our pension contributions but has failed to remit these monies to our pension administrators and this has lingered for 32 months now.”