Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna state might be in for a long ride with the members of the organised labour who shut down government activities in the state on March 23. Vanguard reports that the state’s civil servants abandoned their duty posts to attend a rally organised by labour to protest alleged anti-workers policies of the governor. Workers who crowded the secretariat of the state’s branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from all parts of the state, where seen carrying placards with different inscriptions.
They chanted anti-El-Rufai’s songs and called him unprintable names as well as regretted for voting him into power. It was reported that there was trucks load of fully armed policemen outside the secretariat as well as officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps who were mandated to search anyone going in and out of the gate for weapons.
Speaking to the aggrieved workers at the peaceful rally, Ayuba Wabba, the factional president of the NLC, said both leaders of NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had met and resolved that the governor must pay the workers their 11 months’ salary arrears within the next seven days or face a nationwide industrial action. “All workers of Kaduna State should fill the verification form and indicate whether to join labour or opt out. But, you should make a copy of that form and keep it with your union officials for the records. We believe that the governor wants to rig the process and announce that most workers had indicated that they don’t want to join any trade union. With that, he can abrogate unionism here and deal with you badly.
So, keep a copy with your union officials. In the next seven days, if El-Rufai does not pay workers their sixth to ninth months’ salary arrears, pay compensation to the victims of his verification exercises, the following will happen – We are going to mobilise all workers in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and other trade unions outside the public service to stop work for a day in solidarity with Kaduna State workers.
“If the governor refuses to heed to these demands, we are going to move to Kaduna – All workers from 36 states of the Nigeria and from their LGAs. We are going to occupy Kaduna with our colleagues, market man and women, artisans and artistes, Bank Workers, Construction workers, drivers’ unions and everyone that is sympathetic to organise labour,” the NLC and TUC said. Just recently, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the economy had stopped functioning and urged him to use the opportunity of the planned economic conference to come up with policies that could be implemented to get the country out of its current economic woes.
Read more: https://www.naij.com/775720-labour-unions-come-hard-governor-el-rufai-read.html