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Nigeria railway workers down tools as 3-day warning strike commence

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Workers of the Nigeria Railway Corporation have commenced a three-day warning strike on Thursday.

The NRC employees under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers have grounded operations at all rail stations across the country in order to demand improved welfare.

The Union has grounded services on the popular Lagos-Ibadan, Abuja-Kaduna, and Warri-Itakpe and other notable routes such as Lagos-Kano, Kano-Unguru and Aba-Port Harcourt.

Thousands of railway passengers are expected to be stranded at stations across the country with about N90m revenue lost to the three-day strike.

Last week, the NUR, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, had threatened to embark on a three-day nationwide warning strike from November 18 to November 20, 2021 to press home their demands for improved welfare.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, held a meeting which ended in a deadlock on Saturday with the union in Lagos.

When interviewed by The Punch correspondent, NUR President-General, Innocent Ajiji, said “We are going ahead with the strike on Thursday. They have been trying to get us to serve us a court injunction. That is the kind of government we have in place now. However, we’ve not been served and so by early hours of Thursday morning our strike commences”.

Read also:Nigerian Railway halts operations after bandits bombed Abuja-Kaduna train

Ajiji said  approximately 11,000 workers will participate in the industrial action.

“The Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan, Warri-Itakpe, Lagos-Kano, Kano-Unguru and Aba-Port Harcourt, all those trains will stop. And even our offices will be closed down.

“And apart from those who operate the movement of the trains, we have local workshop workers, tracks men, admin department, everywhere will be closed down!”

“We make over N360m monthly from the rail sector. We generate over N30m daily. This strike will cause a drop in revenue for the sector. But that is not the issue. Rather the issue is that government should listen to our just demands.”

When asked if the the minister had reached out to the workers after the Saturday meeting, Ajiji said, “He has not said anything till today.

“We will be at the stations by 6am on Thursday and this is because in Abuja, for instance, the first train moves by 7am. So we must be there by 6am to stop the train from moving.”

The spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojekwe, said he could not speak on the matter. Also, the spokesperson for Nigeria Railway Corporation, Yakub Mahmood, declined to make any comment when contacted.


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