The Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] has threatened mass action against the Mallam Nasir El-Rufai-led Kaduna State Government over the recent sack of about 5,000 workers.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba disclosed this in a press statement made available to news men on Friday.
In the statement titled “The Mass Sack of Local Government Workers in Kaduna State Is Illegal”, Wabba lamented of “the consequences of the reckless actions of the government of Kaduna State and will call for caution and restraint on the part of the government”.
He, therefore, warned that “in the event the government of Kaduna State is obdurate enough not to heed this wise counsel given in good faith, [NLC] will use all the lawful means available… to contest this wave of mass sack including mobilising to Kaduna, workers and pensioners from across the nation and our civil society allies in solidarity with workers of Kaduna State”.
The statement reads in full:
The Nigeria Labour Congress strongly condemns the mass sacking of about five thousand local government workers by the Kaduna State Government.
The purported sack violates the provisions of all known labour laws and industrial relations practice as well as processes.
The reasons adduced by the government are spurious and unfounded.
Aside from this, the process is patently faulty and unlawful.
For instance, redundancy cannot be carried out without following the provisions of the Labour Act .
When the Government of Kaduna State announced to the whole world its plan to lay off about 25,000 teachers for failing a competency test for Primary Four Class, we not only expressed our misgivings, we said the so-called competency test was a subterfuge and part of a premeditated plan to drastically cut down the workforce in furtherance of dangerous neoliberal policies.
The latest illegal mass sack of workers lends credence to our assertions or fears.
We would want to warn of the consequences of the reckless actions of the government of Kaduna State and will call for caution and restraint on the part of the government.
It is evident that the government has not given sufficient consideration to the social consequences of laying off en masse 5,000 workers.
The Governor boasts that no one, absolutely nothing could stop him from carrying out his agenda of mass retrenchment of workers.
This is most unfortunate and a direct fulfilment of the exact opposite of his campaign promise and APC’s manifesto to create jobs.
He often says as Governor, he has the right, power, means and will to do as he likes, but this is undemocratic and anti-workers.
We are worried by these emotional outbursts, and their infectious effects on his peers and the polity as a whole.
We at the Nigeria Labour Congress expected more maturity and flexibility.
We accordingly advise the government to rescind its decision on the mass sack. We call on the President and his party, the APC to call him to order.
We also find it necessary to remind the Governor here that Mr President’s support for a reform in the education sector is not synonymous with mindless and conscienceless retrenchment. Some states in the federation have carried out far-reaching reforms in the education sector with impressive results without causing this level of social violence.
Finally, in the event the government of Kaduna State is obdurate enough not to heed this wise counsel given in good faith, let it consider this statement as a notice that we at the Nigeria Labour Congress will use all the lawful means available to us to contest this wave of mass sack including mobilising to Kaduna, workers and pensioners from across the nation and our civil society allies in solidarity with workers of Kaduna State .
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