From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Kaduna State Council, has kicked against the planned mass sack and casualisation of workers in the state, saying such a move will worsen the insecurity and economic challenges in the state.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of an emergency SEC meeting, jointly addressed by the NLC state Chairman Ayuba Magaji Suleiman and Secretary Christiana John Bawa, the NLC called on government to reverse the decision on the mass sack of workers, and seek alternative means of running government without inflicting additional pains on the public.
‘On Tuesday 6 April, 2021, thousands of workers in the local government services of the state were issued with sack letters. The mass sack of workers in the public service of Kaduna state have been undertaken without recourse to the payment of gratuity, against Section 210 of the 1999 Constitution which guarantees pension rights and also without any fair hearing accorded the affected workers.
‘The Kaduna State Government, recently in a manner defying of all rationality and logic especially in the face of excruciating economic reality, issued a letter which was signed by the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the Governor and sent to the Head of Service of Kaduna state, apparently preparatory to another round of mass sack in the public service of Kaduna State.
‘In the letter, the PPS requested for the comprehensive list of staff from all the MDAS as categorized below: Officers that are 50 years and above – Compulsory retirement, Officers on GL/14 and above, even if they are less than 50 years – Compulsory Retirement. All categories of officers on GL 01 to 06 – Conversion to casual and that no local government should have more than 50 staff strength.
‘The NLC Kaduna state Council after extensive deliberations at its emergency meeting wishes to state as follows: The NLC Kaduna State Council kicked against the mass sack of workers in the public service and any sack of workers whose appointments are statutorily protected must be based on strict compliance with the disciplinary procedure as provided in the public service rules.
‘The Government of Kaduna State must take into effect the cost implication of the mass sack on the society and the implication it will bring to bear on families and already compromised security situation in our beloved state. If the workers that were sacked in 2016 are yet to be paid their entitlements, how can the KDSG guarantee the payment of terminal benefits of those being sacked now?
‘Kaduna State is already faced with issues of insecurity, unemployment, poverty, the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic and dwindling business prospects, therefore any additional pain on citizens will reasonably be repulsive to conscience. We call on the state government to reverse this unpopular decision on the mass sack of workers, and seek alternative means of running government without inflicting additional pains on the public.
‘While we pledge to remain organised, peaceful and rational in engaging the government and other stakeholders towards ensuring amicable resolution of this and other issues, it is our prayers that prominent citizens and other people of goodwill (such as senior citizens, the political class, the clergy, traditional rulers, etc) would partner with organised labour with a view to save the state from needless skirmishes, prevent the labour movement from taking drastic measures.’