The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions will on Monday embark on a five-day warning strike over the recent disengagement of civil servants by the state government.
The NLC made this move as a result of Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s announcement in April to disengage civil servants in the state, citing fiscal reasons. El-Rufai said a significant amount of the statutory federal allocations to the state is being spent on the wages of public servants.
But the NLC has vowed to resist the action of the state government, accusing the governor of being insensitive to the plight of the workers.
The NLC Chairman in the state, Ayuba Suleiman, disclosed on Sunday that the industrial action will be accompanied by a peaceful protest which will be led by the President of the Union, Ayuba Wabba and other labour leaders across the country.
Ayuba Suleiman explained that the strike which will involve grounding of all socio-economic activities in both public and private sectors in a bid to force the Kaduna State Government to reverse the sack of over 7,000 local government workers and teachers and also suspend its plan to sack another 11,000 civil servants any moment from now.
He noted readiness for the industrial action on Monday saying it is going to be a dual activity. They will withdraw activities and equally stage a peaceful protest to press home their demands, and grievances to the state government.
The Kaduna State Government has, in reaction, defended its decision, saying it is in the interest of the over 10 million citizens of the state.
The Commissioner for Local Government, Jafaru Sani, said not even the threat of industrial action or blackmail by the union will make the state government to reverse its decision.
The Commissioner explained that the government’s decision to lay off some workers and political appointees is necessary to enable it cope with fiscal challenges and preserve its ability to use its resources for the entire state.
He also denied the allegations of anti-labour activities, stressing that Kaduna State workers have been receiving the new minimum wage since 2019.
The commissioner said the 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.