The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kaduna State Council, has rejected plans by the Kaduna State Government to administer forms to civil servants to decide whether to belong to trade unions or not.
The Kaduna Chairman of NLC, Ayuba Magaji Suleiman, in a statement issued Thursday, called on civil servants in the state to resist any attempt by the government to deny them their constitutional rights, which he said could suffocate the unions.
He argued that trade union activities were under Item 34, Part 1, of the Second Schedule of the Exclusive Legislative List, and therefore not under the powers of the state government to streamline as it was seeking to do.
Suleiman said, “Thus, any decision that negates the principle of collective bargaining or social dialogue is contestable in the court of law.
“To cap it all, Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, guarantees freedom of association and membership of trade unions for the protection of the interest of workers.
“A recent judgment entered by Her Ladyship, Honourable Justice O.A. Obaseki-Osaghae, Suite NO. NICN/ABJ/77/2021, between Kaduna State Government and NUT, Kaduna State Wing, delivered on the 2nd of December, 2021, at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja Judicial Division, declared that the state government lacks the constitutional/statutory vires to interfere with the internal running and management of trade unions in the state.
“Based on the above considerations, we wish to categorically reject the decision of the state government, and we call on all civil servants in the state to resist any attempt by the government to deny us our constitutional rights by suffocating unions through the subversion of rule of law.”
Suleiman added that the unions would not relent in their effort to legally and logically contest any breach of fundamental human rights and in defending the interest of the workers in the state.