Kaduna labour strike: No retreat no surrender; El-Rufai must bow — NLC President declares

Posted by News Express | 18 May 2021 | 616 times

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, on Monday declared that labour would not shift its position on the workers’ strike that commenced in Kaduna State until the state government reverses the unilateral sack of workers in the state.

Wabba, who led a protest match in Kaduna at the commencement of the five days warning strike on Monday, declared that there “is no retreat and no surrender,” until Governor Nasir El-Rufai reverses the sack of the workers and pay those who have been sacked about four years ago.

Beginning from Monday, electricity supply, government schools and offices, banks, airport, train station, and private businesses were totally shut as labour under the NLC commenced the strike.

Workers, across the state and leadership of all the affiliate unions of NLC converged on Kaduna, the state capital city to ensure the success of the strike. As early as 8 am, workers gathered at the state office of NLC carrying placards with various inscriptions to signal the commencement of the protest.

Wabba stated that the Kaduna State government has been feeding the public with lies as none of the labour unions and their leaders were consulted as claimed by the government, while none has been invited by the state government. He insisted that the protest and strike action in the state would continue until the state government rescinds its anti-workers policy.

The NLC President said all the affiliate unions in the electricity, petroleum, railway, aviation, banking sector complied totally by shutting down all their facilities.

Wabba pointed out that despite the fact that the Kaduna State government generated the highest internal revenue among the states in the North, it has the least workers and has continued to retrench without following due process as stipulated in the labour law and the constitution.

The NLC president said: “This is just the beginning; tomorrow we will make sure that the number of our members on the road is more than this. We are complying fully with the constitution and we are fully aware of the COVID-19 protocol and complying.”

He assured the protesting workers that the organized labour would ensure its demands are met by the governor. According to him, the five-day warning strike is a decision of the highest body of labour, and all the relevant government agencies, especially the security agencies were duly informed.

He said: “The decision has been communicated to all security agencies of government. It is the beginning of the struggle of labour, hope our politicians will cooperate with us to ensure we protect our democracy by delivering its dividends to the citizens including workers. More than 90 per cent of Nigerians are living in abject poverty and that is why insecurity and other social vices have increased in the country.”

According to him, the labour leadership is in Kaduna to tell the world the truth about what the workers, pensioners, students and other citizens in the state are going through besides the lies being peddled by media platforms on El-Rufai’s payroll.

The situation of the workers in the state, according to the NLC president, is so pathetic that thousands of them have been laid off from their sources of livelihood without the state government making any effort to pay them their entitlements.

He added that worse still, El-Rufai has gone further to increase the school fees thereby making the children of those sacked from their working place without payment become dropouts.

He lamented that workers in the state were being sacked from their jobs without following the due process, adding that no constituted labour union was contacted by Governor El-Rufai before taking the action.

“It is only in Kaduna State out of the other states in the country that workers are thrown out of their jobs without any regards to the labour law and that is why we are here,” he said.

He added: “Here we have a governor that is not respecting the law but violating the law with impunity. He has sacked thousands of workers in the state. Over 20,000 workers in the state have not been paid their April salary.

“After sacking the workers from their jobs, Governor Nasir El-Rufai have gone ahead to increase the school fees thereby sending students away from school as their parents could not afford the new school fees.”

Wabba warned that if after the first five days, Gov El-Rufai fails to rescind his decision; the strike will go national in solidarity with Kadina workers.

Courtesy (excluding headline) Nigerian Tribune

Source: News Express

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