All railway workers on grade level 12 and below are to work from home until further notice as part of measures to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Nigeria Union of Railway workers has said.
Recall that the Nigerian Railway Corporation had last week indefinitely shut down train services nationwide.
Shortly after the announcement, however, it reviewed the position, saying it would continue with some special train services provided passengers would be willing to comply with certain set conditions such as providing their “full names, address, date of birth and means of identity.”
A statement by the Nigeria Union of Railway workers signed by its President General and Secretary General, Innocent Ajiji and Segun Esan respectively, said the union’s directive was in line with a two-page circular of March 23, 2020 with reference number HCSF/109/S.I/100, emanating from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
It also said the work-from-home order had received the backing of the NRC management.
This was sequel to the decision of the management of the corporation “to put on hold train operations nationwide in its compliance with the circular under reference and in the corporation’s quest to join in arresting further spread of the global pandemic, COVID-19,” it added.
It stated, “The leadership of our great union, NUR, has the cooperation and understanding of the (NRC) managing director and the management to direct the entire workers of the corporation on GL 12 and below to stay back and work from home with immediate effect until otherwise directed.”
It enjoined all NRC workers and members of the union to strictly observe self-isolation and social distancing while at home.
The union said, “All concerned are advised to desist from receiving visitors at home in order to drastically curtail vulnerability to the contagious COVID-19.
“All concerned are to be further informed that the pandemic is present with us in Nigeria with daily increasing number of cases. For this obvious reason, we are all advised to keep ourselves safe as well as our spouses, children and loved ones living with us.
It insisted that train operations would be “kept in abeyance nationwide” during the work-from-home period.
The union also advised the workers to observe hand washing with soap for about a minute regularly while at home.
“We should also insulate our hands with enough quantity of hand sanitisers from time to time. This should be a religious practice for all the railway workers and their families till the pandemic is over,” it added.
It also urged the NRC management to provide full protection from the infection for all essential officers that would be required to come to work during the period.