By Egena Sunday Ode
The International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) has condemned the recent mass sack of workers and threat to sack more by the Kaduna State Government, describing the action as legally and procedurally defective in the light of their condition of service.
ILAW in a statement in Abuja at the weekend further argued that the conduct of the government is am affront to law, morality and well being of the affected workers with grace security implications for the entire country.
The statement signed by Barr Benson Upah and four others on behalf of ILAW Nigeria also stated that the motivations of the Kaduna State Government are ill-informed, uncharitable and counter productive.
It read: “We members of the International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) condemn in strong terms the sacking of workers in Kaduna State and the threat by the State Goverment to sack more workers in the coming days.
“The conduct of the government is an affront to law, morality and well-being of the affected workers with grave security implications for the entire country.
“The mass sack and proposed sack are defective legally and procedurally in light of the terms and conditions governing their employment and disengagement.
“We are afraid, the motivations of the Kaduna State Goverment are ill-informed, uncharitable, defective and counter-productive.
“Violations of our extant labour laws on this scale not only trivialise our democracy but constitute an invitation to anarchy especially in light of the fact that the already disengaged workers have not been paid their terminal benefits, neither is there any plan to pay those to follow.
“The indescribable hardship this foists on the workers in this era of multiple denials, is better left to the imagination.
“It is an obvious fact that it is not only on these workers that the burden of survival rests but their numerous dependants as well as those whose economic activities and daily subsistence rest on the working class.
“We are appalled by this level of recklessness, insensitivity and lawlessness.
“We had thought that some lessons have been learnt from the purges of the Murtala Muhammed regime of the ‘70s which laid the foundation of the destruction of the civil service in the country from which it is yet to recover.
“Progressive or insightful governments around the world in this covid era are focused on saving or creating jobs and not destroying existing ones.
“In light of this, we urge Mallam El-Rufai to avert his mind to this truth by recalling unfairly sacked workers as well as put on hold further mass sack, else he would have unwittenly written himself into the history of the damned.
“In pursuance of this, we declare our unequivocal support for the protest/strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress in Kaduna State starting on Monday, May 17 2021.
“We accordingly urge our members across the country to mobilise to Kaduna to render services as may be required by circumstances.”