Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Labour Threatens to shut down in Kaduna following Governor El- Rufai's policies

Nair El-Rufai
Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai has gotten into another mess as organized labour in the state are threatening to shut down all activities in the state following his alleged anti-workers policies and excesses. 

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) said it is ready to give the governor a run for his money after efforts by the the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Joint Council in Kaduna State to prevail on governor El-Rufai to cease his alleged siege on workers and trade unions in the state had been treated with contempt.

In a statement published in various newspapers, TUC said: “As we write, the Kaduna State Governor is compelling workers in the state against their will to choose whether to belong to Trade Unions or opt out of the Trade Union system completely. By his bizarre actions, Governor El-Rufai may think that he is destroying the trade unions in the state but what he is actually displaying is his lack of elementary knowledge of labour laws in the country because even though the law permits the worker to opt out of trade union, it is not the responsibility of the Governor to force him or her to do so. 

”El-Rufai further exposed his ignorance when he told a national newspaper recently that he decided to destroy the union in Kaduna State because N2,000 was deducted from a worker’s salary as union dues and that when he multiplied that amount with the number of Kaduna State Government employees, including the local government staff, he came to the spurious conclusion that the union collects N170 million as check-off dues. 

“It is really a pity that a governor of a state in Nigeria does not know that union dues is not a flat rate of N2,000 for every employee and that there are about 15 unions in the public service of a state that are entitled to union dues based on a rate approved by the Registrar of trade unions.”

TUC also said El-Rufai wants the workers to pay tax on union dues deducted from their own salary adding that trade unions were listed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as such the Kaduna State governor has no legal authority to write his own labor laws. 

Meanwhile, popular Lagos pastor and the chairman, Fresh Democratic Party, Pastor Chris Okotie, has joined those who have spoken against the now controversial bill. 

Okotie then advised El-Rufai to change his plan to introduce a law that would require preachers to obtain a licence before preaching in the state.

Source- Vanguard

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