The decision of the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai to disengage 4000 workers across the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State has sparked outrage.
Daily Trust reports that on April 6, over 4000 staff across 23 local governments received their disengagement letters.
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Reacting to the development, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), described the action as “arbitrary and cruel”, and called on the Kaduna State Government to reverse the mass sack.
He said the decision to give effect to compulsory retirement of officers that are 50 years old and above; compulsory retirement of officers on Grade Level 14 and above, even when they are less than 50 years violate the fundamental human and trade union rights of Kaduna State workers.
“Others are conversion to casual workers for officers on Grade Level 01 – 06 and the directive that no Local Government in Kaduna State shall have more than 50 staff strength. We understand that right now redundancy letters are being issued to workers caught in the web of this very arbitrary and cruel decision,” he said.
Wabba, furthermore, called the attention of the Kaduna State Government to the clause in the redundancy letter issued to affected workers.
The clause says all the entitlements of the affected workers would be paid in due course.
Wabba described this as being in conflict with the provisions of the Labour Act on redundancy.
The Kaduna State Chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has also condemned the mass sack/retirement of workers.
State Publicity Secretary, of the party, Abraham Alberah Catoh, said the action by the governor is unlawful, callous and smacks of the insensitivity to the plight of the good people of the state.
According to him, “It is disheartening that a government which asserts itself as a believer of the rule of law, however, never hesitates to break the same law in pursuit of its unscrupulous policies, based on their whims and caprices.”
Wants reversal of the sack
He called for a reversal of the mass sack of all those affected and payment of their entitlements.
One of the affected staff, Aliyu Aminu of the works department, who was retired from service on 1st April, 2021, called on the government to pay them their benefits, especially since the holy month of Ramadan has come.
A staff member, who pleaded anonymity, wondered why the state government fired and retired civil servants before the retirement age or number of years in service.
He said he had accepted his retirement in good faith but also urged the government to pay their benefits.