The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions will begin a five-day notice strike on Monday in protest of the Kaduna State Government’s recent dismissal of civil servants.
The planned move came after Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced in April that the state would disengage civil servants for fiscal reasons.
The NLC, on the other hand, has vowed to oppose the state government’s action, accusing the governor of being insensitive to the plight of the workers.
Chairman of the NLC in the State, Ayuba Suleiman, revealed Sunday in Kaduna that the strike will be accompanied by a peaceful protest led by the Union’s President, Ayuba Wabba, and other labor leaders across the country.
He explained that the strike would entail the suspension of all socio-economic activities in both the public and private sectors in order to compel the Kaduna State Government to reverse the sacking of over 7,000 local government employees and teachers, as well as the suspension of plans to sack another 11,000 civil servants at any time.
The Kaduna State Government, on the other hand, defended its decision, claiming that it is in the best interests of the state’s over 10 million people.
The Commissioner for Local Government, Jafaru Sani has also said that the state government would not be swayed by the threat of industrial action or extortion by the union.
He also refuted the labour union’s allegations that the government has penciled in over 11,000 jobs for dismissal, saying that the government is planning to right-size the public service, but he did not include the figures.
The government’s decision to lay off some staff and political appointees, according to the Commissioner, is important to help it deal with fiscal problems and maintain its ability to use its resources for the entire state.
He also refuted claims of anti-labor practices, pointing out that Kaduna State employees have been receiving the new minimum wage since 2019.
The commissioner said: “This government has reiterated its commitment to the welfare of its workers. It insists that this is sustainable only in the context of the general welfare of residents of the state that the government is mandated to serve.
“It is not sustainable to persist in spending 84 to 96 per cent of the FAAC received on salaries and personnel cost as has been the experience of the state since October 2020.”