We didn’t recruit hoodlums to unleash mayhem – NLC counters Kaduna Govt

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has refuted claims by the Kaduna State Government that it recruited hoodlums to cause mayhem during its strike.

The congress said it is not in its character to indulge in such uncivilized practice like politicians.

In a press statement, the state NLC chairman, Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman, assured that all its affiliates are fully committed to participate in the strike action without compulsion.

“The warrant of arrest on the National President of NLC Comrade Ayuba Waba as claimed by Kaduna State Government is an unwarranted intimidation on labour movement. This is considered as a violation of human right act. The National President’s involvement in this action is intended to protect the interest of Kaduna State workers,” the statement read.

“Earlier, we were misled to commend the Kaduna State Government for being the first State to implement N30, 000 minimum wage to both civil servants and the retirees. However, we noted with dismay that the government reverted to old minimum wage of N18, 000 in the month of April, 2021, salary in the local government council, about N20, 000, State civil servants received half salary which is even less than the former N18, 000 minimum wage.

“Health workers were denied almost all their allowances such as hazard, call duty, shifting, rural posting etc.

“It’s disheartening to say that Kaduna State Government, on the basis of their claim, had paid up to 14 billion Naira as arrears of death benefit and gratuity from 2017 but the fact is that the same government disengaged over 35,000 civil servants in 2017 and up to date over 80 percent have not received their retirement benefits.”

The NLC noted that it is sad for the state government to claim its commitment to training of workers while those that are qualified for promotion remain stagnant for years.

It also refuted claims by the government of supporting civil servants to pay for houses through mortgages on a single digits interest, stressing that the reality of this was that the mortgages were gotten by the joint effort of NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

It said that the state government in its ignorance failed to realize the obvious fact that payments of salaries have multiplying effects on the social welfare and economy.

The NLC stated that the downsizing of the work force in the State was not done in accordance with the statutory Labour law. It said from 2017 till date, over 50,000 workers were affected.

According to NLC, “It’s in the public domain that over 21,000 teachers were sacked, 5,000 Local Government workers were equally disengaged in 2017, while another 12,000 civil servants were also unfairly disengaged and the recent sacking of over 7,000 workers of local government in the month of April, 2021, these lay credence to the figure given by the NLC.”

The claim by the state government, according to the statement, to promote the right of the children of the poor to decent education is contradictory to the recent increase in tuition fees in the State owned institutions by more than 300 per cent.

It called the attention of the general public to the planned mobilization of thugs by the state government to discredit their peaceful protest on Monday, enjoining the people to be vigilant and stand against the plan.

Labour implored the general public to remain calm and peaceful throughout the five days warning strike, assuring the state workers and the general public of their commitment to maintain a peaceful industrial action for the interest of workers.