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Railway workers threaten indefinite strike

14 February 2013, 13:02

Lagos - Workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Wednesday threatened to embark on indefinite strike on Monday if their demands were not met.

The workers’ unions had written a letter to the management on Monday and given it till Friday to meet their demands or face a strike.

The workers are demanding for the promotion of staff, cancellation of promotion examination, stoppage of double pension deductions and refund of  earlier deductions.

``Workers on grade levels 08 to 13 have also been sternly warned by the union not to report for any written examination when invited for such examinations.

``Directive from the Head of Federal Civil Service is that promotions should be by performance through APER filled by each worker and not by written examination.

 ``Any worker who attends such is a saboteur and woe betide such person,” the union warned. .

The unions said most of the complaints presented during the monthly consultative meeting did not receive any serious attention from the management.

``We presented them during the second monthly meeting and added fresh ones, sadly most of them were ignored while the quarterly meeting was cancelled by the management .Our members keep suffering on issues that are mostly statutory.

``As a way of keeping this corporation at peace, harmony and productive, we also wrote letters and sent SMS to remind the management on those staff welfare issues. No deal.

``In our letter captioned: ``the Clouds Are Gathering’’, we listed these demands again and gave three weeks ultimatum since the issues are within their power to resolve,” the unions said.

The Central Working Committee of the two in-house unions met to review events of the expiration of the time lines and discovered that none of the 11  demands, not even AOB, had been resolved,  the unions said.

``Managing Director, Sir, to exhibit maturity, restraint and humility as well as respect the federal, the unions have decided to extend this period of grace to Friday Feb. 15.

``Consequently, we want to inform you that if no positive result is seen on our demands, workers of this corporation shall have no option than to proceed on TOTAL INDEFINITE ACTION from 00:00hrs of Monday, Feb. 15, 2013.

``In which case we make plans to secure all railways offices, workshops and equipment across the whole country,” the unions said.

The letter was jointly signed by the President of Nigerian Union of Railway Workers, Mr Idowu Ajisegiri, as well as the President of the Senior Staff Association, Mr Mohammed Yunusa, and the Secretary, Mrs A.M. Okereke.

The leaders of the two unions on Wednesday sent the notice of the strike to the staff and urged them to meet on Thursday on the matter.

The NRC Director of Administration and Human Resources, Mr Aminu Gusau, said the management was aware of the situation.

``We are on top of the situation, we are meeting with the union members today or tomorrow to resolve the issue and hopefully after our meeting they will see reason to suspend their action,” Gusau said. 

NAN

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