A 10 member bi-partite committee was on Thursday, charged with the responsibility of resolving the industrial dispute between the Kaduna State Government and organised labour.
The panel was raised at a meeting convened by labour and employment Minister Dr. Chris Ngige, who intervened in the industrial standoff between workers and Kaduna state government under the leadership of Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Local Government Affairs Commissioner Jafaru Sani, who co-led the state delegation with the State Head of Service, Bariatu Mohammed and the leadership of NLC led by its President, Ayuba Wabba, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the end of the parley.
The MoU tasked the parties to resolve their dispute in order to engender a peaceful industrial atmosphere in the state, and preempt further industrial action and victimisation of workers.
Signatories to the MOU include Deputy President, Najeem Usman; Trade Union Services Director in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs. OmoabieAkpan and the Director of Finance and Accounts, AloyMuoneke, who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
On the side line, the minister said the committee, with representatives from the state government and the NLC, will dispassionately lookinto the issues that led to the industrial conflict and resolve them based on provisions of Section 20 of the Labour Act.
It would be recalled that the NLC embarked on a five- day warning strike and protest in the state, over the sack of workers on Grade Level 14, compulsory retirement of workers who have attained the age of 50 years irrespective of their Grade levels, reduction of local government staff strength to 50 in the 23 Local Government Areas and the casualisation of workers on Grade Level 1-6.
The MoU reads in part: “The meeting agreed that all the listed issues fall within the ambit of redundancy therefore, it was resolved that the principle of redundancy as stated in section 20 of Labour Act, Cap L 1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) should apply.”
“The meeting also recognised that the current impasse was caused by communication gap between the State Government and NLC occasioned by both the local chapter and even the Kaduna State Government Officials.”
“In view of the foregoing, the meeting resolved: To constitute a ten (10) man Bi-partite Committee comprising six (6) representatives of State Government and three (3) officials of the NLC to engage further with the objective of reverting with a work plan on how to integrate the provision of section 20 of the Labour Act CAP L1 LFN 2004 to resolve the impasse between the State Government and the NLC.”
However, there was a mild drama at the meeting as the delegation from the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai refused to append their signatures to the MoUreached between the two parties. Though the memorandum was eventually signed after much persuasion and possible consultation with the state officials in Kaduna, but with mild adjustment.
The MoU read by the Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige agreed to set up a 10-member committee to fashion out a work plan to resolve the impasse between the Kaduna State Government and NLC following agitations over sack of civil servants.
The minister said the Kaduna State Head of Civil Service, Bariatu Mohammed will chair the committee while the NLC Deputy President, NajeemYasin will serve as the vice-chairperson.
Ngige said the committee is mandated to revert to the Minister of Labour and Employment on or before next week Tuesday as agreed to enable the completion of the process of resolution. (Daily Independent)