Locomotive drivers and workers at the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) have lamented that they can only earn N 26,000 of the minimum wage they collect each month.
They said it Thursday at Idu station in Abuja during a protest organized to demand better wages.
Speaking to Nigerian Tribune during the protest, a driver who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity said: âDangote pays truck drivers 300,000 N, but here the NRC only pays drivers N 26,000. locomotive.
âThe NRC has a nice modern infrastructure without any well-being for the workers,â he said.
Other protesters at Idu station carried signs stating “Railroad workers’ wages are the lowest in the Ministry of Transport”, “We cannot work like slaves just to pay the loans taken out by the federal government to build a railway â, among others.
Speaking to the general chairman of the Nigerian Railway Workers’ Union (NURW), Innocent Ajiji said railway workers are the lowest paid of all parastatals in the Ministry of Transport.
âIt will interest you to know that our minimum wage is N30,000, so when you deduct the contributory housing scheme, pension, union dues and taxes, the wage drops to N26,000.
âAnd that’s the price to take away from the railway workers, no compensation, nothing. This is why we have decided to embark on this event, âhe said.
Ajiji further explained that “It will interest you to know that our passengers who travel on our train are insured, all the goods that we carry on our train are insured, but oddly, those who drive the train are not insured.
“You may remember that four weeks ago there had been a bombing on the railroad tracks if anything had happened to these drivers, I assure you the only thing the government would have paid them is a expense allowance less than 1 million naira, so we demand that our workers be insured so that if anything happens to them, the company will pay the next of kin a reasonable amount of money, âhe said .
Ajiji said that “we demand that our working conditions be reviewed,” adding that the railway workers’ welfare review is supposed to be carried out every five years, but was last carried out in 1978 and put implemented in 1983.
Tribune Online reports that the warning strike is to last three days and end on Saturday. The union said it would give the government some time to consider their demands.
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