Workers threaten strike over sale of scraps, outsourcing
Workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) have threatened to embark on industrial action if the two in-house Unions – Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR), and Senior Staff Association (SSA) refused to reverse plans to sell off iron scraps in the industry and outsourcing of recreational facilities built for the workers.
Speaking with The Guardian recently, the Secretary General of NUR, Segun Esan, said workers will not hesitate to embark on strike, if the management of the Corporation did not reverse the plan as advertised in the media.
“We will not allow any further plundering of the assets of the Corporation in the name of iron scraps disposal and outsourcing of the workers’ recreational club, staff canteens, railway institutes and Club 1919, which have not brought anything meaningful to the Corporation.
“The last administration of Adeseyi Sijuwade, did the same, selling thousands of tonnes of ferrous and non-ferrous iron scraps and nobody knows where the proceeds ended up. We don’t know the modalities for the scraps disposal and everything looks shrouded and known only to some cabals in the system. He attempted to outsource the recreational facilities and we saw this as being irresponsible and we stopped it. We will do it again,” he promised.
Also, the President SSA, Muhammed Yunusa, said the scraps disposal had robbed the Corporation of its valuable assets in the past owing to poor supervision and implementation.
“It is important that caution is applied to this scraps disposal thing. We have asked the management of the Corporation to explain to us where it got authorisation to sell those scraps already gone. We demanded to know how the scraps disposal has fared in the last one year because we are surprised that some contractors are still coming to lift more scraps, which, according to them, is to complete the allotted tonnes of scraps. To us, this is very preposterous and we want to know more.
“More importantly, we have expressed our position to the management that outsourcing the recreational facilities meant for the use and patronage of the workers is not the best way to improve the revenue profile of the Corporation. Revenue of the Corporation will improve if the federal government provides the Corporation with more locomotives, wagons and coaching facilities, which the Corporation will utilise to step up its additive carriage ability of goods and passengers, which will rake in more revenue. This is why we are advising the management not to do any bidding as it has earlier advertised. We are prepared to resist that until reason prevails,” Yunusa added.
He noted that similar attempts had been made in the past to outsource the recreational facilities of the Corporation, while scraps disposal controversies dated back to 2001, when some senior officers were indicted and dismissed from the service of the Corporation.
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