The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has replied the Chairman of Shipping Employers Association of Nigeria (SAN) Mrs Boma Alabi (SAN) over a press statement she issued on Friday, claiming that the association has been engaging the union fruitfully on their demand for improvement on wages and benefits of workers in the shipping sector.
Recall that MWUN had issued a 7-days strike notice to it’s members working at the shipping companies, calling for withdrawal of service from 30th of October, 2023 (today) over shipping companies refusal to adopt minimum standard in wages.
Even though the strike action is yet to commence due to the intervention of the Nigerian Shippers Council which since called for a meeting of both parties slated for Tuesday, the union in a statement issued on Monday however, accused Mrs Boma of distorting the facts in her Friday press statement.
The MWUN statement signed by Comrade John Kennedy Ikemefuna said “MWUN under the leadership of it’s President – General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju cannot be faulted as was reported in the press statement issued by Mrs Boma Alabi (SAN), Chairman of Shipping Employers Association of Nigeria (SAN) over the 7-day ultimatum the revered Union issued to the Association in the maritime sector last week.
“The said 7-day ultimatum was given after the expiration of the initial 14-day ultimatum that was given to federal government on the same issue of minimum standard condition of service (NJIC), which was shelved, given to the intervention of the former Honourable Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amechi’s intervention, who constituted a Technical Committee comprising of members from the Union, the Shipping Employers Association, while the Nigeria Shippers Council were appointed to mediate over the protracted matter.
“It’s very untrue having read that the shipping companies have been engaging the Maritime Workers Union on certain improvements to terms and conditions for its employees. If this assertion as was raised by Mrs Boma was true, why did the Union issue out another 7-day warning notice in anticipation of an indefinite strike?
“It’s also unfounded when she said that a total of 15 meetings have been held with the Nigerian Shippers Council since April to September, 2023. This is another fabricated lie as the meeting billed for October 30 was as a result of this recent ultimatum issued.
“Obviously, it’s quite saddening that the Chairman of SAN, Mrs Boma was just dressing the Union with a borrowed robe when she stated again that the Union is seeking to impose minimum standards of employment on its members.
“Yes, if SAN was not lackadaisical over the NJIC matter which has dragged this long even with the constituted committee led by the Shippers Council which up till now has not scale through; for the fact that the representatives of SAN have no mandate to take decisive decisions each time the parties have met. This has been the major factor why we are still stagnated over the matter.
“No doubt, SAN has been trying to avoid what will bring the NJIC matter into fruition, hence, they keep sending their delegates without give them a clear cut mandate over this open-ended matter to bring it to a closure. As a Union, we would not sit down with folded arms and watch our members being enslaved over what is due them in the industry, hence, the Union’s call for strike action towards making sure that this matter is resolved once for all”