Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has warned that it would not accept pay cut from the management of any maritime company in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.
Its President-General, Mr Adewale Adeyanju, made this known in his May Day speech in Lagos on Friday.
Adeyanju said members of the union would not also accept the lockdown period as their annual leave.
According to him, workers cannot be made to pay for a problem they did not create.
“Comrades, most disheartening is the attempt by some management to cut the salaries, wages and allowances of our members without any probable cause.
“On this matter, we stand with the Nigeria Labour Congress who has acknowledged that in spite of the known fact that workers produce capital, they are always relegated and at the receiving end,’’ he said.
According to him, 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.
”We also wish to bring to the public space, the attempt by some management to cheat our members by forcing them to convert this lockdown period occasioned to their annual leave.
“The union has been informed that some managements have issued internal memo to this effect.
“We condemn this attempt 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 control and this we will resist within the ambit of law,” the MWUN leader said.
Adeyanju said the union had stood in support of the industry in spite of it being hard-hit by the pandemic, saying the union would continue to protect the interest of the workers.
He added that the union’s goal had always been to support and assist its members to attain a high degree of livelihood.
“Comrades, I can assure you that we will continue to fight for the benefit of all and stand by our watchword 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,” Adeyanju said.
By Moses Uwagbale