NLC Accuses El-Rufai Of Plot To Sack 30,000 Workers

Filed in News by on November 11, 2017 0 Comments

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that the planned sack of about 21,780 teachers by the Kaduna state government in a supposed education reform was part of a larger plan by the government to embark on mass sack of workers in the employment of the state and its local governments.

President of Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who spoke at a news conference in Abuja yesterday said Congress’ finding revealed that the state government was planning to sack more than 30,000 workers, beginning with the teachers.

He said the competency test conducted by the government was not aimed at testing for quality but an agenda to reduce the state’s work force.

Wabba, who assured workers in the employment of the Kaduna State Government that the Congress would stand by them to resist any attempt to sack them, said the government had concluded arrangements to sack about 8,000 local government workers and another 5,000 from the ministries, departments and agencies.

The NLC President gave newsmen a letter from the Ministry of Local Government Affairs signed by Ja’Afaru Ibrahim Sani and addressed to the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission to back his claim of an impending mass sack in the state.

The letter directed the commission to, among others things “study and consolidate the organogram based on the approved establishments indicated for the councils, examine all staff based on their credentials and track record in order to appropriately restructure the departments and units under them and conclude and submit names of staff who will be retained based on the approved establishment as well as names of staff that are surplus to requirement.”

The letter dated October 25, 2017 requested that the submissions be made to the Local Government Service Commission on or before October 30, 2017.

Wabba also denied claims by the Kaduna State Government that worker’s protest to the Kaduna State House of Assembly was marred by violence and vandalisation of property, pointing out that their protest was peaceful and in line with internationally laid down procedure for workers’ protest.

He said: “The state government has earmarked about 30,000 workers to be laid off, consisting of 21,780 teachers already penned down to be sacked under the pretext that they failed a competency test, while 5,000 local government workers are to be sacked under the local government councils restructuring order 2017, and 8,000 more workers in ministries, departments and agencies are to be sacked for sundry but unjustifiable reasons.

“The teachers’ case is a disguise that must not be treated separately as the ultimate plan is to execute a wholesome mass sack. Wednesday’s protest was to express our collective opposition to the anti-workers policies of Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s government in Kaduna State, which are obviously directed at not just sacking workers en masse but deepening poverty and deprivation as well s circumscribing the fundamental rights of the people, particularly workers in the state.

“What surprises us is his penchant for falsehood and fraudulent claims in his quest to impose hardship on the people, especially workers.

“For instance, his government’s claim that the competency test conducted on teachers in the state was transparent is not only false but shrouded in arrant fraud as we have found out that some of those claimed to have passed the test were dead teachers as well as retired teachers who left service two years ago. Also included were school guards who were never engaged in teaching service.

“The competency test was simply a sham as well as a pre-meditated action to reduce the workforce. We must make it clear to the public that the ultimate intention of the Kaduna State Government is massive reduction of the state workforce. The target is the entire civil service, local governments, ministries, departments and agencies.

“The so called competency test was conducted without the relevant professional bodies regulating the teaching profession. But more especially, it was done by a government with a prejudicial mind and intent.

“The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria and the National Teachers Institute were not involved in the process. The unions, particularly the Nigeria Union of Teachers and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees were left out because the motives were not about testing for quality but a disguise to throw people out of employment.

“The principles of collective bargaining in labour relations as enshrined in our national laws and conventions of the International Labour Organisation were not followed.

“The truth is that the state government is planning to sack about 5,000 local government workers and 8,000 others from the ministries, department and agencies. The competency test on teachers was simply a smokescreen to cover up the ultimate intentions of the state government who, as we have been credibly informed, already planned to sack about 30,000 workers under different guise.

“While it is not true that protesting workers caused damage to the property of the state House of Assembly, we wish to make it clear that we are aware that soon after workers left the premises of the state House of Assembly, allegedly sponsored thugs and hoodlums were sent there by the state government to cause damage to the property with the intention to blackmail workers as unruly people.

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