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FG inaugurates 10-member committee to resolve Kaduna, NLC dispute

FG inaugurates 10-member committee to resolve Kaduna, NLC dispute
July 10
16:36 2021

The federal government has inaugurated a 10-member committee to resolve the industrial dispute between Kaduna state government and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

In May, NLC commenced a five-day warning strike in Kaduna following the disengagement of 4,000 workers across the 23 LGAs, citing the state’s high wage bill as the reason.

The NLC later suspended the strike after the federal government requested for negotiations and constituted a committee to ensure truce between the two sides.

Chris Ngige, the minister for labour and employment, said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) to restore peace signed by both parties made the reconstitution of the committee inevitable.

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He said the issue in contention bordered essentially on trade disputes, and therefore, gave the committee 21 days to submit its report.

A statement issued on Saturday by Charles Akpan, the ministry’s deputy director on public relations, said the committee is headed by Peter-Yemira Tarf, the permanent secretary of the ministry, and will have Balarabe Lawal, secretary to Kaduna government and Najim Hashim, deputy national president, NLC, as co-chairmen of the committee.

Speaking at the event, Ngige said the members of the committee must be proactive and immediate in meeting the expectations of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that industrial peace is returned to the state.

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He said the committee should endeavour to resolve the issues holistically and be guided by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the country’s labour laws.

“The law says in Section 20(A) that: “in the event of redundancy, every employer shall inform the trade unions or representatives of workers concerned of the reasons for or the extent of their anticipated redundancy,” he said.

“Section 20(B) also says that the principles of ‘last-in, first-out’ shall be adopted in the discharge of the category of workers affected, subject to all factors of relative merit including skill, ability and any reliability.”

“So, in applying this, we must subject it to the relativity of merit, skill, ability and reliability. If somebody has a forged certificate, he should be asked to go because he didn’t merit the job in the first instance.

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Ngige also said that an employer has the right to reduce staff strength of his organisation but he is bound by law to negotiate redundancy payment with any discharged worker.

He also said there was nothing wrong in Kaduna state government stopping the expenditure of 96 per cent of its earnings on personnel cost in order to save enough for capital projects — but must be done within the ambit of the law.

 

 

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