The President-General, Nigeria Union of Railway Workers, Innocent Ajiji has reminded Federal Government to fulfil its promise to increase the salary of its union members by 95 per cent.
Last year 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, because of poor workers’ welfare.
Speaking to our correspondent on Monday, the NUR President stated that poor payment of rail workers was not new since it led to a three-day industrial strike in 2021 that was suspended after the union met with the Minister of Transportation and railway management.
He said, “We resolved to suspend the strike, waiting to see what action the Federal Government will take. Within November and December, they reviewed our salary by 95 per cent, which brought the strike to a halt, and we waited for the implementation, which is yet to be carried out till now.
“And while the former Minister of Transportation was struggling for the implementation, his tenure came to an end, so we decided to allow the new minister to relax and study the terrain before we can again come up with the issue of implementation.”
According to the NUR president, the new president is aware of the union’s issues and challenges.
Also speaking on the reduction of the train’s daily trip from six to two, the NUR president said it was because of the Abuja-Kaduna attack, which has made people be apprehensive of boarding trains leading to low patronage in the sector. He added that another reason was the high cost of diesel.
Ajiji said, “The number of the train daily trip was reduced because of two reasons. The first one is, the attack on the Abuja -Kaduna train which made commuters become scared of boarding trains because they fear for their lives, so because of this, we started experiencing low patronage in our stations across the country.
“The second reason is the high cost of diesel, which we are all experiencing in the country, it has led to some other means of transport reducing their daily trips and some have stopped working for a while.”
Speaking further, the NUR president added, “We can’t be talking about the Abuja-Kaduna security measure because nothing is happening there for now, but for Lagos, Warri and others, security has picked up, the numbers of the armies, police, and civil defence at stations and trains have increased.”