‘SAN Chairman Lied On Subject Matter Of Disputes’ MWUN
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has accused the leadership of the Shipping Employers Association of Nigeria (SAN) of lying about the real issues at stake for which the former recently issued a seven day ultimatum in lieu of its intentions to embark on an indefinite strike action, purportedly following the failure of shipping operators to honour the pledge made by them to look into shipping workers condition of service.
Reacting to a disturbing press statement issued by the Chairman of SAN, Mrs. Boma Alabi SAN, in which the shipping employers faulted the seven-day ultimatum given MWUN to notify the federal government of a planned strike action which lapsed today, October 30, 2023, the Union not only expressed disappointment with attitude of SAN to twist and continue to circumvent the important issue of the shipping workers standard condition of service; but also flayed the shipping operators for twisting the facts of the matter to suit their predetermined desire.
MWUN said all attempts by SAN to obfuscate the facts will not fly because the union has displayed the required sufficient understanding and patience to make the issue progress from dialogue into one of decision; but that the operators regularly delegate SAN to the dialogue table without investing it with the authority to take a stand; akin to a rat race aimed at fooling the union and its leadership in a race that has no end.
The union also accused SAN of lying about its claim of having engaged fifteen (15) times, even as it insisted that its latest ultimatum cannot be faulted since it was issued in accordance with the extant labour rules and therefore has all the merits of industrial procedures.
MWUN President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju argued that the matter has witnessed three separate transportation minister, noting that the ongoing ministerial was that of Chibuike Amaechi; which is still dragging.
The statement with the theme ‘RE: ASSOCIATION FAULTS MWUN ON OCT 30 DIRECTIVE’ signed and made available to our reporter by the Head of the Union Media, Comrade John Kennedy Ikemefuna, reads:
“The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) under the leadership of its President – General, Comrade (Prince) Dr. Adewale Adeyanju, fnli HFCPSP, 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 under the national judicial industrial council (NJIC), which was shelved, given the intervention of the former Honourable Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amechi, who constituted a Technical Committee comprising of members from the Union, the Shipping Employers Association, while the Nigeria Shippers Council was appointed to mediate over the protracted matter.”
The maritime workers leader said it was an act of rascality for SAN and its chairman to fault its ultimatum, noting that the union has fulfilled all righteousness, and that if anyone should be blamed at all, it should by the sipping operators and employers.
“It’s very untrue having read that the shipping companies have been engaging the Maritime Workers Union on certain improvements in terms of conditions of service for its employees. If this assertion as was raised by Mrs Boma was true, why did the Union issue 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 between April to September, 2023. This is another fabricated lie as the meeting billed for October 30 was as a result of this recent ultimatum.
“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.”
The union said the matter would have long been resolved but for the lack of sincerity and careless attitude of the shipping association.
“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 and for all.”