The Nigeria Union of Railway Workers (NUR) has appealed to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to find lasting solution to the staff quarter monetisation issue.
Mr Segun Esan, NUR General Secretary, made the appeal in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.
It was reported that the workers had in 2011 instituted a suit against the management of NRC and the Federal Government over the sale of their official quarters.
The sale of the official accommodation was in line with the privatisation policy of the government.
Esan said that the minister should fight for workers’ welfare and not destabilise court process over issues affecting them.
He expressed displeasure over a statement by the minister on a national television ‘Weekend Deal’ in Abuja on June, 20.
“The minister mentioned plans to invite foreign investors to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) with a view to taking up the expansive compound in Ebute Meta for renewal without recourse and attempt on finding lasting solution to the staff quarter monetisation issue.
“This is clearly pre-emptive, subversive, and contemptuous of the Court of Appeal,” the union scribe said.”
He said that such statement showed that the minister was undermining a judgment delivered at the National Industrial Court (NIC) in favour of the workers over a staff quarter monetisation in NRC.
“We are disappointed in the attempt to subvert and undermine the integrity of the court of appeal by making such statement to the public,” he said.
Esan noted that such statement could misinform the public, especially when the case before the court has not run its full course.
He urged Amaechi to exercise restraint to the end of the full course of the case before the court.
He also appealed to the minister to desist from using other methods to achieve the objective over the staff quarter monetization struggle.
Esan said: “We shall not hesitate to challenge the Honorable Minister of Transportation using all means at our disposal within the ambits of labour conventions and relevant laws if he continues in this manner.”
Recall that in 2016, the NIC, Lagos judicial division’s judgment gave the workers the right to possess the corporation’s staff quarters.
President of the court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, made the pronouncement in his judgment over a suit filed by the workers against the corporation on the acquisition of government landed property.