Threatens industrial unrest
By Victor Young
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, on Friday, alleged plots by employers in the maritime industry to slash workers’ salaries and other benefits.
The union in a May Day message warned the employers to prepare for war as organized Labour would not accept such criminal and wicked plots by employers to further impoverished workers.
The message by the President/General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, vowed to resist any attempt to punish its members for the Coronavirus, COVID-19 lockdown, arguing that the situation was not the fault of workers.
Among others, Adeyanju said he said “We wish to bring to the public space the secret attempt by some management to cheat our members by lording them to convert this lockdown period occasioned by government pronouncement to their annual leave consumed.
“In very clear terms, we condemn this attempt to turn workers’ rights on its head for the pecuniary gains of management without recourse to normal consideration and processes. We find It strange that workers will be subjected to punishment for a situation that is entirely out of their scope of control.
“This we will resist and resist with all the arsenals at our disposal within the ambit of law. All management considering such gimmick is hereby put on notice. It sad and disheartening the attempt by the same unscrupulous management to cut the salaries, wages and allowance of our members without any probable cause.
“On this matter, we stand with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC which has acknowledged that despite the known fact that workers produce capital, they are always relegated and at the receiving, warning that any move to deduct the salaries, wages, allowances and downsizing of Nigerian workers at this time is illegal and therefore must be resisted.”
Adeyanju noted that maritime workers had been mostly on the frontline and that there was a need to safeguard their lives while on essential duties.
He called on the Federal Government to equip and direct the relevant agencies on the need to boost sensitisation of her members in the quay apron as well as all other port users and stakeholders.
The President-General said “We suggest that the mandate of the committee be inclusive of the continuous review of preventive measures for the workforce and monitor all protocols so that all changes are to be implemented with the appropriate collective bargaining agreements and Labour relations structure.
“I wish to also draw the attention of the management of NlMASA to the urgent need to re-issue biometric identity cards to dockworkers/seafarers, training of dockworkers and seafarers, review of minimum standard for the dock labour industry, reduction in prices of seafarers certifications.”