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NLC threatens nationwide strike, reports Kaduna government to Buhari

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Ayuba Wabba


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has dragged the Kaduna State government before President Muhammadu Buhari over the sack of workers in the state. 
   
In a letter dated 3rd June 2021 and addressed to the President through the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, had not respected the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into with the organised labour on the pathway to resolving the industrial crisis occasioned by the mass sack of workers.
   
In the letter, Ayuba threatened that if the rights of workers were not respected by the Kaduna State government, the organised labour might be forced to withdraw their services nationwide.  
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He added that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC on May 25, 2021, had given the National Administrative Council (NAC) the power to re-activate the suspended industrial action in Kaduna State and also call for the withdrawal of services of all workers in Nigeria without any further notice.
   
The MoU specifically provided that there should be no further victimization and harassment of workers and trade union leaders in the state, especially workers who participated in the warning strike while the Nigeria Labour Congress was expected to maintain the suspension of the strike while negotiations continued.
   
NLC alleged that after signing the MoU with workers, the state government is now impugning all manner of clauses in the agreement.
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NLC listed some of the violations to include refusal of the Kaduna State government to honour/respect the MoU signed at a meeting brokered by the Minister of Labour and Employment; continuous violation of workers’ rights as provided in the labour laws; punitive transfer of the state chairperson of the NLC; workers’ victimisation by sack for participating in the warning strike; violation of the ‘no victimisation’ clause in the signed agreement; non-adherence and respect for the rule of law.
   
On the suspension of minimum wage consequential salary adjustment by the Ekiti State government, el-Rufai failed to acknowledge that Ekiti State government did not sack workers massively and workers on levels one to six were not affected in the suspension of the implementations, which is expected to be in force for only three months (May to July). 
   
A labour activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “How can el-Rufai compare the situation in Ekiti with what is going on in Kaduna? In Ekiti, both the NLC and TUC were invited to a meeting where an agreement was reached.”

Besides, there was no sack at all in Ekiti. Even the suspension of the implementation of consequential adjustment is for three months between May and July. How can el-Rufai compare these extreme scenarios? We are not disturbed or deterred by his mischief.” 

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