The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over what it describes as unlawful dismissal of civil servants by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. NLC President, Ayuba Wabba disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, after a meeting of the Central Working Committee.
He said all members of the NLC will down tools nationwide for five days in the first instance and when nothing is done by relevant government agencies, the workers union will think of the next line of action.
Wabba explained that the union’s plan for a nationwide strike over El-Rufai’s action is predicated on the assumption that the governor is having support from other states and the Federal Government.
“CWC has decided and has also recommended to the National Executive Council that labour will withdraw all services from either public or private from all sectors of the economy for five days in the first instance,” he said.
“And where there is no remorse, there is going to be a total action because we believe that El-Rufai is not alone in this action that neoliberal forces and also some government are also part of it.
“This action is going to be total and unconditional and therefore, all unions will be issuing statements and directives to their members to take this directive seriously and that the action will go ahead.”
Speaking further, the NLC President said the action was taken as a last resort due to all the communications that were written on the issue to the Kaduna State Government and were yet to receive any attention.
According to him, the CWC, therefore, thought that workers should not be allowed to die in silence as thousands of workers who had been sacked were yet to be paid in line with the provisions of the law.
The move by NLC comes a week after Governor El-Rufai announced the plan to disengage civil servants in the state, citing fiscal reasons.
El-Rufai said a significant amount of the statutory federal allocations to the state is being spent on the wages of public servants.
According to the governor, the decision was one of the necessary moves to salvage the state’s finances.
“Therefore, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and reduce the size of the public service. It is a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state,” the governor was quoted in a statement.
“The public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees and their families cannot be consuming more than 90% of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants.
“It is gross injustice for such a micro minority to consume the majority of the resources of the State,” El-Rufai said.