by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Kaduna state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, had rejected the deduction of 25 percent from salaries of all civil servants by Kaduna state government, saying they were not consulted.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by state chairman and secretary of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Mahaji Suleiman, and Comrade Christiana J. Bewa.
“Sequel to the deductions of 25% on the salary of all civil servants in Kaduna state, effective from April, 2020, labour in Kaduna State unequivocally rejects this deduction.
“This is because the union was not consulted on the issue nor consented to the deduction,” the statement stressed.
It argued that Articles 8 of the International Labour Organization Protection of Wages Convention, 1949, (No.95) provides that deduction from wages shall be permitted only under conditions and to the extent prescribed by the National Laws or regulations or fixed by collective agreement or arbitration award.
According to NLC, Section 5(1) of the Labour Act Cap l.1 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 provides thus: “Except where it is expressly permitted by this act or any agreement or contract with a worker for any deductions or wages to be paid by the employer to the worker or any payment to the employer by the worker for/or in respect of any fines provided that with the prior consent in writing of an authorized Labour officer a reasonable deduction may be made in respect of injury or loss caused to the employer by the willful misconduct or neglect of the worker.”
“Labour in Kaduna State is not against the provision of palliatives to the poor to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown from the salaries of civil servants in Kaduna State, but wish to state that it ought to be carried along, and such deductions or contributions should be made voluntary not compulsory.
“As responsible working groups, who are conscious of the predicament of the average citizens of Kaduna state, we are disposed to committing much higher for the wellbeing of the less-privileged, if the need be, and proper process is followed.
“In view of the above, Labour in Kaduna state calls on the Kaduna state government to stop the 25% deduction henceforth and should return the 25% salary already deducted from the workers.
“Failure to comply with the above will leave the labour in the state with no option than to explore other possible avenues within the purview of the law,” it added.