Seafarers employed by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ship management Limited (NSML), a subsidiary of the gas company has protested the proposed 50 per cent cut in salary.
The protest was in reaction to a mail sent to them by the company mandating all seafarers to sign and comply with the 50 per cent cut within seven days or risk losing their jobs.
The protesters called on government to intervene and put an end to what they called the “unjust proposed wage cut” as it does not meet up with the present economic situation of the country.
In a mail signed by Mr. Kennedy Agbonkhese, Crewing Manager, which was made available to journalists on behalf of the company, said seafarers are required to sign the copy of the wage cut letter within one week and the reduction was in view of the revised Bonny Gas Transport (BGT) wages rate to be implemented by all NSML Shipboard personnel.
Condemning the drastic salary slash which is expected to take effect soon and the manner at which they were informed, they alleged that seafarers of other nationalities within NSML were affected by only 20 per cent cut, which means giving them better consideration above indigenous staff.
They averred that the seafarers of other nationalities which include Indians, Pakistanis, Russians, Croatians, among others were also challenging the wage cut.
They argued that the proposed 50 per cent salary cut would subject them to earn far below their other counterparts in other companies.
One of the seafarers, Mr. Peter Tobori, argued that rather than salary cuts, they deserved an upward wage review which the company has failed to live up to its mandate since its inception in 2009.
Tobori alleged that efforts to dialogue with top management of NSML on Tuesday, ended at a deadlock as the company is determined to lay them off and employ cheap third-world officers.
According to him, the move if allowed to stay would kill the dream to achieving the Nigerianization plan committed to ensure that Nigerian seafarers engaged are well represented on board BGT and NLNG chartered vessels. If caution is thrown to the wind, NSML would be headed same path of moribund as the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL).