The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has warned that it would resort to an industrial action against the Shippers Association of Nigeria (SAN) if the body fails to heed its call for meeting to address issues of welfare concerns affecting its members in the Shipping Chapter.
The Union, in a statement signed on Monday by its Deputy Secretary General, Abudu Eroje, bemoaned the unyielding attitude of SAN to honour several calls for peaceful discussions on matters regarding review of salary structure and conditions of service the Union members.
According to the Union, the shipping companies had subjected the workers to slavish conditions of service with incommensurate wages to show for it.
The statement read in part that: “Having consistently ignored our myriad calls: Shippers Association of Nigeria and its members have conducted themselves in a manner which perpetually keeps our members in the Shipping Industry in penury and pain.
“ in most cases they have been stagnated on one salary structure for over twenty years, worst wage structure, anti – union activities, burdensome tariff regimes etc.
“They have formed themselves into lodges above and impervious to our National Laws breaching every rule of industrial relations thus, engendering a failure in our social partnership where existed at all.”
The Union said it decided to bring the development to public knowledge since its efforts toward an amicable deliberation seemed to be failing.
“In the eye of recent events affecting all our members in the Shipping sector in Nigeria, we are constrained to bring to public space the following Viz:
“Having exhausted all legal and social means to get members of the Shippers Association of Nigeria(SAN) to a round table discussion with representatives of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, we had hoped that we find redress to the very inhumane, deplorable and slavish conditions our members are subjected to in their various workplace,” part of the statement reads.
It also made known that the Nigeria Labour Congress, the umbrella labour body advised that they consider industrial peace and sue for a meeting with SAN in the next 21 days.
It, however, remarked that:“Please note that in the event of SAN’s non – compliance, the Union will be constrained to declare a state of emergency in the Shipping sector in Nigeria.”
For the records, this request for a meeting with SAN is the second in one month, as the MWUN Shipping Chapter, had earlier on 3rd of March, 2020 issued a 21-day ultimatum for the meeting to hold or embark on industrial action.