As the crisis between the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) and International Oil Companies (IOCs) over the refusal to pay dockworkers their entitlements continues, the Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (MNOWTSSAN) has thrown its weight behind the workers.
The President of the association Engineer Matthew Alalade, who said this, last week in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos, also blamed the IOCs for not respecting labour law.
He however charged the federal government to compel the OICs to do the needful.
“Yes, I like the way the whole thing is going, we are in support of it (strike) they don’t want to respect the labour, they don’t want to give the workers their right in terms of welfare. I am sure that strike does not come like that, they must have given them warnings and all that, but they failed to listen. They companies should do the needful”, he advised.
Also speaking the Deputy Secretary General of Merchant Navy, John Okpono, who described the Comrade Adewale Adeyanju led MWUN administration as a dialogue-based administration, also said that several attempts to dialogue with the OICs had fallen on deaf ears.
“One thing about life is for a company to respect and organization like the MWUN, we support the union because the IOCs and some government agencies do not respect the voice of the union. Severally the union before this strike had written and complained, they have also met with authorities that are supposed to nip this issue on the board but they refused”, he noted.
Okpono however said that in as much as the association does not encourage strike, but at this point, strike is the last option.
“Strike, in as much as we don’t encourage ourselves to go striking it is the last option. What we believe mostly the leadership of Comrade Adeyanju, we believe in dialogue but when the dialogue has failed we have no option than to strike”
He reiterated that no union will like to see its members being denied of their rights and entitlements by any company.
According to him, the IOCs have failed to abide by the laws guiding their operations, stressing that it is disheartening to see a shutdown of the system.
“Nobody like it that the system is shut down but the government and the authorities are to be blamed, they are not doing what they are supposed to do there are laws bidding the IOCs what they are supposed to do to the right thing”