Workers Welfare : MWUN President-General talks tough
* Warns Againt Salary Cut, Sack of Maritime Workers
* Lauds Shippers’ Council, NPA, NIMASA, ENL Consortium others on port industry development
(By Udeme Clement):
As the Federal Government puts measures in place to sustain the economy despite COVID-19 pandemic, the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and his team are working assiduously to protect the nation’s economy and interest of Maritime workers, espeacially Dockworkers rendering essential services in the ports to keep Nigeria’s economy afloat.
In a chat with Financial Business News, Comrade Adeyanju warned against sack of maritime workers, cut in salary or allowances under the guise of COVID-19 effect.
He called on Terminal Operators to shun any anti-labour practice that can have negative effects on welfare of Dockworkers in the country.
Speaking further, Comrade Adeyanju condemned in strong terms, a situation where some terminal operators
are commiting the lock-down period caused by coronavirus crisis as annual leave for their employees.
He frowned, “The unhealthy practice by some employers using the lock-down period as annual leave for dockworkers is criminal, wickedness and totally unceptable by our Union”.
Responding to questions on challenges facing MWUN at the moment, he explained, “The Union is facing some challenges but the major problem right now is job cut. We don’t want employers of maritime workers to hide under COVID- 19, to either sack employees or slash their salaries and allowances.
“This is the time workers welfare must be given top priority in the maritime industry”.
On charges filed against Dockworkers by Rivers State Government, he asserted, “As a responsible Union, we are indeed concerned about the nation’s economy. So, we directed the Dockworkers in Port Harcourt to return back to the ports.
“Right now, our members are all on their duty posts and activities in the ports are moving smoothly. There is no arrest or harassment of Dockworkers there again.”
He went on, “The Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Command has assured us that the charges have been withdrawn.
We must understand that dockworkers are not criminals. They are professionals working hard to enhance growth of our port industry.
In reality, the ports belong to the Federal Government but dockworkers are also contributing to the economy of Rivers State.”.
Comrade Adeyanju, who is always on the forefront of protecting the rights of Dockworkers, expressed apprecation for relevant stakeholders who intervened to settle the matter.
He enthused, “I thank the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Hassan Bello, who intervened immediately to make peace between the Union and Rivers State Governor.
“Hassan Bello has the interest of our port industry at heart. He is always doing everything possible to keep the industry in good shape.
“The Managing Director of NPA is also very proactive in addressing issues concerning the ports. We commend her for being hard working and pragmatic in handling issues in the ports. Now, we have NIMASA Director General, who is also an insider.
So, we thank these stakeholders for ensuring that our ports contnue to function notwithstanding COVID -19 pandemic.
“We equally thank the Chief Executive Officer of ENL Consortium, Princess Vicky Haastrup, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Shipping Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders contributing to the growth of our port industry in Nigeria”.