By Victor Ahiuma-Young
THE Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, has given insights into why the union severed relationship with the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations, COMTUA, saying some individuals wanted the body to undermine the system and breach peace.
President General of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, while speaking with a cross-section of journalists in Lagos made it clear that the Union would never be involved in such things that could tarnish its hard-earned image, explaining that MWUN had to sever the relationship with COMTUA when members wanted to start using the body to collect money inside the ports in form of tickets and tolls contrary to the objectives for which COMTUA was set up.
Adeyanju contended that relating with members of COMTUA could lead to insecurity at the ports in contravention to the very essence of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security, ISPS, Code.
He stated: “MWUN know our jurisdiction, we work on board the vessels and everywhere; but seating down with them, we found out their intention is different from ours. So, we ask ourselves why we are in this collaboration when we know their style. Our own style is that we disagree with employers reasonably, we give notice, we seat more on the round table, but theirs is not like that.
“Collaborating with COMTUA was as a result of the gridlock that all of us were experiencing at the port over the years; we believed that we could form an association that would bring management, workers and stakeholders in the port together to rub ideas, but we found out that the Maritime Worker’s Union of Nigeria cannot stay in the toilet for 30-minutes, when you stay in the toilet for too long, uninvited guests would visit you.
“We believe that our seating down with them didn’t yield any fruitful result that has to do with the life of our members. When you have groups like the road transport union like RTEAN, the level that MWUN operate is different from the level of the other unions in COMTUA is different. Their mentality, character and attitude towards government and stakeholders is different from that of our union.
“There is no way we would seat and collaborate where petitions would be coming, dragging issues that can be resolved amicably to the security agents. My executives said No, we cannot continue with such collaboration. There is no way out affiliates the Nigerian Labour Congress, the ITF and some others that we are affiliated to, would now be calling us to find out our business with RTEAN and road transport unions. Our doors are still open for other reputable and responsible organizations that we believe are part of maritime proper.’’