by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have described as the most brutal attack ever, on workers and trade union rights in the nation’s history, of the mass sack and casualization of over 60 percent of the workforce in Kaduna State by Governor Nasir El- Rufai.
The organized Labour also condemned Kaduna State Government for the increase in school fees of Kaduna State University by almost 500 percent.
The unions jointly made assertions in an address to the workers through the President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and President of TUC, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, respectively, presented by the Kaduna NLC Chairman, Comrade Ayuba Suleiman, on Saturday at Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
“We consider the recent mass sack and casualization of more than 60 percent of the workforce in Kaduna State as the most brutal attack on workers and trade unions’ rights in our nation’s history.
“You would recall that, between 2016 and this year, the Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nadir El-Rufai, sacked 21,770 primary school teachers, 7,310 local government employees, 3,000 personnel in the State Civil Service and 1,240 workers at the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Board,” NLC said.
According to Labour, while the disengaged workers are still licking their wounds, the governor went further to “increase the school fees of Kaduna State University by almost 500%. This clearly shows a well-mapped plan to make the children of the working class to destitute. This is how Mr. El-Rufai understands ‘development’,” he quizzed.
While lamenting what they described as “The serial pattern of anti-workers and anti-trade union war of attrition by the Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai is not lost on the Nigerian public,” adding that “The industrial sadism of Mr El-Rufai has become legendary; it is even worst now.sss”
They further said the actions of the governor “are in breach of Section 20, Sub-Section 1(a-c), 2 and 3 of Nigeria’s Labour Act, which demands consultation with workers’ representative organizations before redundancy letters are issued to workers.”
“We also condemn in the strongest term the violation of the terms of employment contract of the disengaged workers, which provides for 60 years retirement age and 35 years of active service.
“We consider the promise in the redundancy letters issued to the current victims of Mr El-Rufai’s reign of sadism as a mockery to the sacked workers; talk of rubbing insult to injury,” the union stressed.
The Organized Labour further said, “El-Rufai has refused to pay workers that he had earlier sacked, between 2016 and 2020, their redundancy benefits. Mr Nasir El-Rufai continues to prove himself as an agent provocateur and the precursor for the deteriorating security situation in Kaduna State.”
The NLC and TUC, however, jointly called on President Buhari to call the governor to order and also warned that, “The Organized Labour will not take Mr El-Rufai’s current repression of workers lying low. We are mobilizing every Nigerian worker for the ‘mother of all struggles’ in Kaduna.
“We will use the weapons availed to us by the law to fight for the rights of Kaduna State Workers to decent work,” Labour averred.