The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has raised the alarm over the safety of labour leaders in Kaduna State. It said the government was allegedly planning to harass and intimidate the union.

NLC further alleged that the government wants to arrest and detain workers to prevent opposition to the planned sack of workers. The body accused the government of trying to arrest labour leaders using the courts, saying such attitude will only compound the dispute.

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NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who spoke at the National Executive Council meeting, added that the government will inaugurate the national minimum wage negotiation committee soon.

He said the body resolved that if the state’s labour leaders were arrested, all state chapters would embark on a solidarity strike. Wabba, who said the congress was not opposed to reforms, however, noted that they are protesting lack of transparency in the reform processes.

The union alleged that mass sack of workers was one condition laid down by the World Bank to the state for accessing foreign loan.

He said: “NLC is disturbed and uses this medium to condemn the information we have that the Kaduna State government has sought to get a court process to arrest labour leaders.

“NLC observes that this is not in tandem with the principles of the rule of law and due process. The court has no jurisdiction over labour and industrial relations matters, especially the issues in dispute in Kaduna, which is related to the mass sack of workers.

“Peace and security are important. When we have instability anywhere, it means inequality will continue to be exacerbated. Therefore, we are concerned with all of this, but more important are the issues of due process and rule of law. Workers have come under serious attack because those rights have been violated and we have evidences that such rights have been violated…”

Credit: TheNation