The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to employ every lawful means to resist the mass sacking of local councils’ workers in Kaduna State. NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, yesterday in Abuja explained that the union is in solidarity with the sacked workers.
Wabba added: “We use every lawful weapon 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.”
NLC argued that the purported sack violates the provisions of all known labour laws and industrial relations’ practice as well as processes, saying the reasons advanced by the state government was spurious and unfounded.
Wabba submitted that redundancy couldn’t be used as an excuse without following the provisions of the Labour Act.Congress said the mass sacking of local councils’ workers and that of the purported mass failure of teachers given as reason are all part of the overall agenda of the state government to sack 25,000 employees.
“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,” he said.
Wabba observed that it is evident that the government has not given sufficient consideration to the social consequences of laying off en-masse 5,000 workers.
He described the alleged boast of the governor that no one, absolutely nothing could stop him from carrying out his agenda of mass retrenchment of workers, as most unfortunate and a direct fulfillment of the exact opposite of his campaign promise and APC’s manifesto to create jobs.
Wabba insisted that the emotional outbursts and their infectious effects on the governor’s peers and the polity as a whole worry the Congress.He added that the NLC expected more maturity and flexibility from the governor calling on the ruling APC and President Muhammadu Buhari to call the governor 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,” Wabba stated.