NLC, other affiliates intensify mobilisation for planned 5-day strike in Kaduna


The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, is leaving no stone unturned in mobilising its affiliate unions and civil society organisations to fully join the strike scheduled to commence midnight Sunday, 16th May in Kaduna State.

NLC has remained focused on mobilising workers in both the public and private sectors to shut down economic activities in the state over what it described as obnoxious anti-worker policies.

The labour union is agitating against the arbitrary and illegal declaration of redundancies, premature compulsory retirement of all officers on grade levels 14 and above, by the state government.

The Acting General Secretary NLC, Ishmail Bello in a circular instructed the leadership of all its affiliate unions to ensure that the strike commences from midnight Sunday, 16th May.

He said, “We write to communicate to all affiliate unions of the NLC to fully mobilise all their members in Kaduna to a complete and indefinite withdrawal of services until a counter directive is issued by the leadership.”

It urged allies and affiliate unions in neighbouring states to mobilise to Kaduna to support the strike.

One of the allies, according to the circular, the Centre for Labour Studies, CLS, has offered to give total support for the planned shutdown of economic activities in Kaduna State.

A statement issued by its Director, Femi Aborisade asked other unions including the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to unite and join forces with the NLC to defeat what it described as “the unitary ideology in industrial relations being spearheaded by the Kaduna State government”.

It called on all trade unions and pro-labour civil society and human rights organisations to join forces with the NLC in its just strike in Kaduna State against what it called obnoxious anti-worker policies.

” He mentioned the arbitrary and illegal declaration of redundancies; premature compulsory retirement of all officers on grade levels 14 and above, officers who are 50 years and above and officers who have been in service for 30 years or more; conversion of permanent employees on grade levels 1-6 to casual workers status and stoppage of pension for pensioners who have earned pension for 5 to 10 years but have refused to die.

It noted that the right to pension is a constitutionally guaranteed right that is also guaranteed in the civil and public service rules in Kaduna State.

The centre said, “For the avoidance of any doubt, Rule 02809 of the Kaduna State Government Public Service Rules (2005) and Part II, Regulation 10(3)(c) at page 34 of the Unified Local Government Service Staff Regulations (2012), provide that the compulsory retirement age for all grades in the service shall be 60 years or 35 years of pensionable service, whichever is earlier.”

The Centre expressed dismay that the phenomenon of physical insecurity involving bloodshed, killings, abductions, kidnappings, insurgency and terrorism in Kaduna State is related to economic insecurity.

The Centre noted that Kaduna State has become one of the most dangerous states to visit, work or live, adding that this is because of massive layoffs which the state government started in 2016/2017 when about 22,000 teachers, 8,000 workers in MDAs (Ministries, Departments, and Agencies), 800 workers in the state’s Internal Revenue Service Dept, and over 4,000 local government workers were laid off.

It observed, “This year, according to the NLC, the state government has disengaged 6,000 workers, including local government and primary health care workers. Eleven thousand (11,000) workers have been short-listed for disengagement on account of being in service for 30 years and above and/or being on level 14 and above.

The Centre appealed to other unions, including the TUC, to unite and join forces with the NLC to defeat the unitary ideology in industrial relations and the vicious war on workers’ rights being waged by the Kaduna State government, “otherwise, other state governments would emulate the draconian and wicked labour policies and practices in Kaduna State, and workers’ rights in other states nationally would come under severe threat.”

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