By Abdullateef Aliyu
The Nigerian Railway workers are to embark on a 3-day warning strike from Thursday, November 18 to November 20, 2021.
General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers (NUR), Comrade Segun Esan, confirmed this in a chat with Daily Trust.
Daily Trust gathered the workers have notified the authorities of the strike.
A letter titled ‘’ Notice and Directive to embark on 3- day warning strike nationwide,’’ dated November 12th was addressed to District Chairman/Secretary Nigeria Union of Railway workers and Senior Staff Association.
The Nigeria Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and its sister body, Senior Staff Association for the Statutory Corporation and Government-owned Company (SC GOC), had earlier given the Federal Government and the National Railway Corporation (NRC) a three-week ultimatum to address its welfare concerns to prevent an total industrial action across the country beginning from November 14.
These 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.
According to the letter sent to the Managing Director of the NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, and the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the labour unions said their “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,” the letter read.
“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