Connect with us


Passengers lament as railway workers begin strike, ground services



About 11,000 workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation have commenced a three-day warning strike, grounding operations at all rail stations across the country.

The NRC employees under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers on Wednesday vowed to halt all train operations nationwide including services on the popular Lagos-Ibadan, Abuja-Kaduna, and Warri-Itakpe routes today (Thursday).

Other notable routes to be affected by the industrial action include Lagos-Kano, Kano-Unguru and Aba-Port Harcourt, with thousands of railway passengers expected to be stranded at stations across the country while about N90m revenue is expected to be lost to the three-day strike.

Last week, the NUR, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, 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.

In a bid to avert the strike, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, held a meeting in Lagos on Saturday with the union, but it was gathered that the meeting ended in a deadlock.

When asked by our correspondent on Wednesday if the strike had been shelved, the NUR President-General, Innocent Ajiji, replied in the negative and stressed that all railway workers would down tool as from 12am today (Thursday).

It was also gathered that government officials looked for the railway union leaders on Wednesday to serve a court injunction on the NUR not to begin the strike, but this was unsuccessful as key union officials went underground for the most part of the day.

The union leaders argued that a court injunction was not the solution against the planned strike.

“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,” Ajiji stated.

Asked to state the number of workers who would partake in the strike, he replied, “About 11,000 workers. We have 10,995 workers, so we are about 11,000 approximately.”

On whether the strike would affect all the rail stations in Nigeria, Ajiji said, “Yes. 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!”

It was learnt that the sector would lose about N90m during the three-day warning strike and that if the demands of the workers were not met, the union might declare another industrial action nationwide.

“We make over N360m monthly from the rail sector. We generate over N30m daily,” Ajiji said.

He added, “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.”

On whether the minister had reached out to the workers after the Saturday meeting that was deadlocked, the NUR president 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 NRC, Yakub Mahmood, declined to make any comment when contacted.

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News20 hours ago

Sound Sultan’s brother exposes scammer who hacked late singer’s Instagram account

Local16 hours ago

Kaduna to enroll secondary school students into its health insurance scheme: Official

Local16 hours ago

VAT declines by N11.76 billion as CIT receives boost in Q3: NBS

News16 hours ago

UBTH boss condemns attack on health workers by patients’ relatives

World17 hours ago

How the Associated Press Covered Israeli President Herzog’s Candle-Lighting in Hebron

Entertainment22 hours ago

“I used to dream of living in a big house, but now I’m scared of the one I live in” – BBNaija star, Tacha laments

Health11 hours ago

Want a Lean Body For Good? Eat These 8 Foods Every Day

Politics17 hours ago

Akeredolu calls for funding of private universities through TETFund grants

Entertainment22 hours ago

Man shares his kids heartwarming reaction when he told them he didn’t have money to buy the drink they wanted

Politics16 hours ago

Okowa, IYC call for justice, investigation into death of Dowen College student

News17 hours ago

FCT PDP endorses Saraki’s 2023 Presidential bid

Local12 hours ago

70 million mobile owners in Nigeria have no bank accounts: eTranzact

Entertainment22 hours ago

“I used to dream of living in a big house, but now I’m scared of the one I live in” – BBNaija star, Tacha laments

Viral4 hours ago

After Bride Allowed Her Ex-boyfriend To Hug Her At Her Wedding, The Husband Did This To The Guy.

World11 hours ago

UK: Muslims produce ‘large amount of money,’ offer to buy woman’s daughter

Local15 hours ago

Lawyer petitions IGP to investigate firm, two individuals for forging Supreme Court judgment

News17 hours ago

Tonto Dikeh calls for commemoration of Sylvester’s 12th birthday at Dowen College premises

World19 hours ago

UK and Israel pledge to ‘work day and night’ to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons

World16 hours ago

CAIR’s Nihad Awad declares Tel Aviv ‘occupied,’ prays for its ‘liberation’

World14 hours ago

Pakistan drops ban on jihad group that is targeting non-Muslims over Muhammad cartoons, even in the West