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Railway workers threaten to down tools over poor pay



A three- weeks ultimatum have been issued to the Federal Government and the National Railway Corporation (NRC) by the Nigeria Union of Railwaymen (NUR) and its sister body, Senior Staff Association for the Statutory Corporation and Government-owned Company (SC GOC), to address its welfare concerns so as to prevent a total industrial action across the country beginning from November 14.

According to FIJ, the demands of the workers 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.

A Ietter sent to Fidet Freeborn Okhiria, the Managing Director of the NRC, and Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport, the labour unions partly stated that 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,

“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.”
Nevertheless, Yakub Mahmood, the Deputy Director, NRC Public Relations, denied knowledge of the letter.

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