Railway workers in the country have embarked on a three-day warning strike, grounding rail services across the country by shutting down passenger and cargo train services of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
The Secretary-General of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers, Segun Esan, explained that the strike was triggered after the union had a meeting with the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi last weekend, which ended in a deadlock.
He said, “We don’t want to remain out of job; we love our job, but it has become expedient to do this in order to ask for our rights. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t have got to this stage, but our honourable minister of transport has never deemed it fit to meet the workers.
“The only time he met with us was in 2015 or 2016 when he was made the minister and the second time was last Saturday when he called for a meeting but we could not arrive at any reasonable convergence because the minister didn’t handle it the way we expected. He walked out on us, and we could not conclude and that was why we resorted to this three days warning strike.’’
In Lagos, the railway workers grounded activities at the Iddo station, Ebute Meta, where they stopped all vehicles and motorcycles from passing through the station.
They carried placards with various inscriptions, including, ‘Railway workers salary is poorest and worst under FMOT’, ‘Enhance salary for NRC, Amaechi learn from Pantami’, ‘Amaechi, don’t kill NRC workers,’ among others.
The workers lamented the non-payment of promotion arrears from 2018 to 2021 and the demolition of workers’ quarters.
In Abuja, the nation’s capital, workers in Idu locked the station and displayed various placards in protest.
Train service at the Professor Wole Soyinka railway station in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital was also paralysed because of the industrial action.