Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Railway workers threaten 3-day strike

Railway workers in Nigeria on Friday vowed to embark on a three-day warning strike from November 18 to November 20, 2021 over welfare concerns.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers, Comrade Segun Esan.

The industrial action, which was being championed by Nigeria Union of Railwaymen and its sister body, Senior Staff Association for the Statutory Corporation and Government-owned Company, had earlier issued the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum to address welfare concerns across the country beginning from November 14.

The demands include an increase in the salaries of NRC staff, incorporation of life insurance and payment of promoted staff arrears from 2018 to date, among others.

The strike notice was also said to have been forwarded to NRC Managing Director, Engr. Fidet Okhiria and the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the labour unions.

The statement said, “agitation for enhanced salary cannot be overemphasized as it is an open secret that the salary regime of the Nigerian Railway workers is the worst and most incomprehensible of all salary structures available to the parastatals under the supervision of the federal ministry of transport.

“The Honorable Minister of Transport once acceded to the fact that Nigerian Railway workers can easily be identified from the crowd by the way they look and dress which he meant to be strikingly suggestive of the very poor salary paid in the corporation.

“It baffles us so much that the federal government spends billions of dollars on building rail transport infrastructure and transforming the system to a modern railway system but with no dint of impact or improvement in the welfare of the workers in terms of improved remuneration.

“We wonder how long the Honorable Minister of Transport will keep avoiding the railway workers and consciously failing in getting better pay for the impoverished Nigerian Railway workers. We wonder how long we will wait before we get our demand for improved salary approved just like that of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) where workers’ salaries were recently upped by three hundred percent.”

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