In Kaduna, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) went on strike on 17th May, 2021 in Kaduna, causing paralysis of economic and social activities in the state.
NLC had accused the State Government of sacking over 21,000 teachers, 5,000 local government workers in 2017 and another 12,000 state civil servants and recently over 7,000 workers of local government in this month of April, 2021.
Although the warning strike was meant to last for five days in the first instance, it was suspended after the third day, already causing damage. Kaduna State Government gave reasons for the sack which it termed rightsizing.
For elder statesman, Mr John Fwah, “Most painful one was TCN which put off the power supply. One significant thing is that the masses supported the action of TCN in solidarity with Labour. The discomfort was expected, the next line of action was to find ways to solve the situation, e.g Neighbours accommodated their friends to charge their phones, so also churches that operate with generators” he said.
Meanwhile in its defence, Kaduna State Government through the Head of Service and Commissioner for local government, said that in 2019 it was the first government to pay minimum wage as well as increase pension to N30, 000 monthly for retirees on the old defined benefits scheme among other things it had done.
NLC Strike: We Went Through Hell – Kaduna Residents Recount Ordeal
She added that it is not sustainable for it to persist in spending 84 per cent to 96 per cent of its FAAC receipts on salaries and personnel costs as has been the experience of the state since October 2020.
But the NLC Chairman Kaduna State Chapter, Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman stated in NLC’s reaction that the strike became imminent as the government had reverted to old minimum wage of N18, 000 in the month of April, 2021 and that salary in the Local government council, about twenty thousand (20, 000) State civil servants received half Salary which is even less than the former N18, 000 minimum wage, among various other reasons.
At the end of the intervention meeting in Abuja, where both Kaduna State Government’s representative and that of the NLC were present, a 10- Man committee was constituted with Kaduna State Head of Service as chairman, while the deputy National President of NLC as vice chairman.
It is fervently hoped that their meetings will produce the right outcome that will put the issue to rest once and for all.
In future we plead for more of such problem solving dialogues to be held to avoid resorting to the last option of strike