Our Case for Salary and Welfare Upgrade- Nigerian Railway Workers’ Union

I bring warm and profound greetings from the leadership of the Union to all the members of our great Union and the members of staff of the Corporation. The Corporation and the workers certainly have been confronted with so many issues to which the workers seek answers that can assuage and calm their nerves but so unfortunately, the challenges facing the Corporation and all of us in general have been most overwhelmingly limitless and ranging in various perspectives.

This, no doubt, has steeped the agitation and restiveness of the workers even in the dastardly reality of the covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the entire global space, creating fears of contagion to which the world over has responded to with observance of social distancing and a number of other safety protocols which regrettably have slowed down individual, national and global economies.

Now that the coast is gradually getting clearer, it is pertinent to update you all on issues of workers’ welfare and other critical issues imperative for your attention.

These issues include:

Request for enhanced salary regime for the Nigerian Railway workers:

You may wish to recall that the management and the unions, past 5 years now, shared a common convergence that the salary structure of the Corporation exists as one of the poorest and, therefore, rationally collaborated to evolve an enhanced salary regime for the workers. This rational collaboration hinged on the fact and reality of the federal government’s renewed political will and commitment to a better, effectively and efficiently functional railway system so far exemplified with the ongoing system transition from narrow gauge system to standard gauge system.

Painfully so, our demand for a better pay was turned down by the federal government through the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission on the basis that the Corporation is yet to come up with evidently robust and impressively meteoric Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) while equally calling to attention the existing workforce of the Corporation which, according to the letter conveying the turn down of our informed and legitimate demand for enhanced salary regime, stands at 10, 999.

As so disheartening as the response of the federal government to the Corporation on its request for enhanced salary scheme is, hope is not totally lost as there exist numerous windows of opportunities through which our legitimate demand for a better pay can still be proposed and achieved. Most outstanding of the windows of opportunities is the just concluded 3-day Productivity Audit of the Corporation which began on Tuesday, 4th May to Thursday, 6th May 2021 at the EB Headquarters.

The high-powered delegation of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, led by Mr. Babatunde Oresanya (Director Productivity, Prices & Income Department of the Commission), was in a mixed team of the MD/CEO of the Corporation Engr. FE Okhiria, fnse), and his top management officials, together with the representatives of the two in-house Unions.

During the three days of the productivity audit of the Corporation, the MD NRC and the representatives of the Unions did satisfactorily well in emphasizing the need for the Corporation’s request for enhanced salary regime to be approved and, in the informed and quality response of the Commission, the possibility and chances of granting our demand for enhanced salary regime are very high having been convinced of all grounds explicitly and intellectually explained by the NRC management and the Unions.

Consequent upon the foregoing, it is very imperative to appeal to all our members and the entire workers never to get discouraged but be supportive of the management and the unions until that moment when a new day and era of better and livable salary regime will break forth.

With the success of the 3-day productivity audit and assurances received, we are more than ever before optimistic that our demand will be granted. The management and the unions are leaving no stone unturned and with God still on our side, we shall soon celebrate a new salary regime.

Workers united can never be defeated!

Solidarity forever!

Comr. Segun Esan T., fcipa
Secretary General, NUR

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