The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) would not accept any pay cuts and attempt by management of companies where its members work, to force its members to accept the lockdown period as their annual leave.
President General of the Union, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, who disclosed this in his May Day speech said workers cannot be made to pay for a problem they did not institute.
“We also wish to bring to the public space, the secret attempt by some management to cheat our members by forcing them to convert this lockdown period occasioned by government pronouncement to their annual leave consumed. The Union has been informed that some managements have issued internal memo to this effect.
“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 are hereby put on notice.”
He aslo raised the alarm that some companies had planned on cutting salaries and allowances, saying that the Union would not accept such proposal by any management.
“Comrades, most disheartening is the attempt by some 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 who have acknowledged that despite the known fact that workers produce capital, they are always relegated and at the receiving end and state that any move to deduct the salaries, wages, allowances and downsizing of Nigerian workers at this time is illogical and illegal and therefore must be resisted.”
Adeyanju noted that in spite of the maritime industry being hard-hit as a result of the persisting pandemic, it stood in support of the industry and would particularly continue to protect the interest of the workers.
“Our goal as a union is and has always been to support and assist our members to attain a high degree of bearable livelihood. Comrades, I can assure you that we will continue to fight for the benefit of all in the face of seemingly sapping odds and stand by our watch word that an injury to one is an injury to all’.
“As labour leaders, we promise to remain on guard and jealously protect jobs, wages, income and livelihood of our members at this trying time. Our efforts will be focused on maintaining, respecting and improving upon existing collective bargaining agreements and all such sundry matters of job welfare,” he said.