THE Interim National Chairman of the Alliance On Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond (ASCAB) Femi Falana has said the insecurity in Kaduna state was a result of the unprecedented anti-workers policy of the state government.
Falana said this in a statement on Sunday titled ‘Solidarity and Unity Against Retrenchments in Kaduna State’ over the proposed five-day strike in Kaduna State by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
According to Falana, the uncontrolled insecurity in the state was the ’harvest’ or product of the State’s anti-labour policies.
Falana, who is also a Human Rights Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the governor of the state Nasir El-Rufai rather than seeking to address the economic decline in the state, chose to retrench about 60,000 public sector workers.
“The level of insecurity in Kaduna State today is a function of unprecedented, cruel anti-workers policy of the Kaduna State Government including repeated mass layoffs,” Falana said.
He further argued that loss of incomes and livelihood makes people desperate for survival.
Declaring the support of ASCAB on the strike action, Falana said firm action was needed to reverse the massive attacks on jobs and poverty-induced insecurity in Kaduna State.
He noted that even though the Kaduna State may be borrowing from China, the World Bank to fund urban renewal, it is also illegally ‘borrowing’ from its workers to fund almost all of its capital expenditure.
“The mass retrenchments and ‘borrowings’ from wages have almost certainly had a detrimental effect on security in the state. It cannot be a coincidence that the state with the highest level of sackings also has one of the worst insecurity records,” the statement read.
The Human rights lawyer further said ASCAB welcomes the action of the trade unions while calling on all trade unionists in Kaduna and across the country to ensure the success of the strike actions.
The NLC is set to commence five-day strike action in the state which would cripple all economic activities in the state.
Responding to the declared strike action, the Kaduna State government via series of tweets on Saturday said the government would not subject its policy to veto of a ‘mob’.
The government argued that the state government promotes the welfare of public servants within the larger context of general public welfare adding that it would implement its decision to ‘rightsize’ the State’s public service.
The government boasted that it was the first to pay the minimum wage, and also pays minimum pension of N30,000 monthly, as well as fund its contributory pension scheme and has paid over N13bn inherited arrears of gratuity and death benefits over five years.
“Given the patchy level of compliance with the new minimum wage across the country, how come it is the same Kaduna State that blazed the trail in paying it and has continued paying it at both state and local government levels that some trade unionists are consistently traducing,?” the state government said.
The declared strike action is set to commence tomorrow across the state as workers would down tools in protest of the retrenchment.
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