Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba says the congress is set to protest against the sack of about 36,000 workers by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
Wabba, who said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, recalled that the Kaduna state government sacked 21,000 teachers, 4,000 local government workers and 8,000 workers from various state ministries, departments and agencies, including tertiary institutions.
He described the action as an act of impunity against workers under the guise of the competency test “deliberately programmed” to fail teachers.
“It is also a spurious programme that goes by the name Public Service Revitalisation and Renewal Project, which are all a smokescreen by the state government to fulfill conditions for accessing a World Bank loan.
“The loan that will be paid back by the working people, who are tax payers, for generations to come.
“The trade unions had taken the path of conciliation under the auspices of the Minister of Labour and Employment and the National Industrial Court (NIC).
“To our consternation, El-Rufai did not only jettison the conciliation process but refused to obey the order of the court that all processes in the sacking of teachers should be put on hold.’’
Wabba also noted that on Jan. 3, 2018, the Kaduna State Government further issued letters of disengagement to thousands of teachers and their letters backdated to Nov. 3, 2017.
“Our concern include the illegal and unacceptable processes employed by the governor and their direct impact on thousands of dependants of the 36,000 workers and their families.
“Also more worrisome are the grievous and negative implications of this in a state grappling with social tensions and societal ills, among others.”
He said that the NLC had exhausted all processes aimed at constructive engagement with the state government, adding that it must be stopped by all lawful means for the sake of Kaduna State and the Nigerian people.
“Consequently, we shall commence a series of action with the first phase of protests in Kaduna on Jan. 11, to constitutionally defend the rights of the affected workers in the state,” the NLC president said.