Nigeria Loses N30m Daily As Rail Workers Down Tools - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Friday, November 19, 2021

Nigeria Loses N30m Daily As Rail Workers Down Tools

LAGOS - The federal government loses no less than N30 million daily to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the staff of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), LEADERSHIP investigations revealed yesterday.

By implication, the government would have lost 90 million and the attendant risks of exposing passengers to other means of transportation, after the three-day strike by the staff of the corporation.

Speaking on strike, president general, Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) Innocent Ajiji said “This strike will cause a drop in revenue for the sector. But that is not the issue. Rather the issue is that the government should listen to our just demands.

“We make over N360 million monthly from the rail sector. We generate over N30 million daily.”

Recall that on Thursday, November, 18, Nigeria’s rail transport services across the country embarked on a three-day warning strike to protest poor welfare, including lack of provision of accommodation, non-payment of salaries and allowances and the management’s lack of commitment towards the wellbeing of the workers over the years.

The workers warned that if their demands are not met after the warning strike, slated for Thursday through Saturday, they would embark on an indefinite strike.

The decision is sequel to a joint meeting in Lagos, last week where various demands on the welfare of the workers were discussed and allegedly communicated in writing to the management.

The workers under the aegis of NUR and Senior Staff Association (SSA), NRC branch, in a letter, dated November 15, 2021, addressed to NRC Managing Director, said it would begin the warning strike to press home their demand for a better working condition.

Copies of the letter jointly signed by NUR president general, Innocent Ajiji; president, SSA, NRC branch, Aliyu Mainasara; secretary general, NUR, Segun Esan, and secretary, SSA, NRC branch, Jibrin Kadiri, were sent to the minister of transport, chairman, Nigerian railway board, all RDMs, president, NLC, ITUC, commissioner of police, Trackpol, commandant, NCD&SC, NRC Command and District chairmen / secretaries, NUR/SSA, among others.

The NUR, while giving the reasons for the ultimatum, said some of their grievances include: the non-payment of promotion arrears for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021; unpaid monthly salaries of some workers, especially those who entered service in 2019; transferring workers without adequate provision of accommodation and relocation allowances;

They also included deliberate refusal to complete the review of the standard condition of service started a few years ago and which was last reviewed for implementation in 1978; delayed allocation of the replaced quarters to all the occupants of the demolished quarters, hence causing the affected workers serious mental, social, and financial agony over the past three years.

Others include: demolition of some quarters in Osogbo and subsequent reallocation of same to the affected occupants as rest houses instead of allocation as staff quarters; demolition of staff quarters in Ikeja and handing same to LAMATA without due diligence and without a tripartite agreement between LAMATA, the workers representatives and your management detailing conditions, terms and plans to replace the demolished quarters.

They are are also protesting “non-payment of allowances to the workers especially those workers in AKTS and WITS who work even on weekends and beyond 40 hours a week as clearly prescribed by the PSR; our demand for salary enhancement; conversion of some workers in our industrial clinics from CONHESS to CONPSS salary regime deliberately ignoring the fact that these workers are to enjoy CONHESS salary structure as succinctly explained in the circular from the office of the Executive Chairman of the NSIWC, Ref No SWC/S/04/S.410/Vol. II/349 of 8th December 2009; general deplorable condition of work and lots more.”

Meanwhile, in preparation for the strike, the managing director, NRC Engr Fidet Okhiria directed all its senior management workers to ensure the protection of railway assets.

In an internal memo signed by the managing director and seen by LEADERSHIP Friday, the NRC asked the commissioner of police of the Railway command and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to ensure all railway assets are protected from possible destruction if there is a breakdown of law and order during the proposed strike action.

Part of the internal memo signed on Wednesday, stated that “With regards to the impending warning strike action by the two in-house labour unions slated for Thursday, 18th to Saturday, 20th November 2021, the board and management has met with the two in-house unions to deliberate and resolve issues, and are still in discussion to avert the proposed warning strike action.

“However, in the event of strike action, you are, please, requested to do the following to ensure that railway assets are protected adequately.

“The Regional District Manager (RDMs), Managers and Coordinators are to prepare and shut down train services appropriately by midnight of Wednesday, 17th of November 2021.

“The Locomotives and coaches should be moved to a safe place as directed below: “All AKTS trains are to be returned to Ido in Lagos.

“All WITS trains are to be returned to Agbor in Delta State.

“For LITS, all Ibadan stock are to be stabled at Omi-Adio station in Ibadan.

No comments:

Post a Comment