Aviation workers in Kaduna state have joined the Nigeria Labour Congress to protest decision of the state government to layoff thousand of its workers.
The workers on Sunday shut down flight operations at the Kaduna Airport as the various aviation unions in the country jointly resolved to proceed on an industrial action till next week Friday.
This was disclosed in a letter jointly signed by the leaders of the National Union Of Air Transport Employees, Association Of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and National Association Of Aircraft Pilots And Engineers.
The letter titled, ‘Notice To All Aviation Workers – Total Shut Down Of Kaduna Airport’, was signed by NUATE General Secretary, Ocheme Aba; ANAP General Secretary, Rasaq Saidu; and NAAPE General Secretary, Umoh Ofonime.
The Kaduna Airport has both domestic and international wings and processes both local and international passengers.
According to the Unions, the strike is in line with the Nigeria Labour Congress planned campaign against alleged anti-labour practices of the Kaduna State Government
The Kaduna State Government had on April 6, disengaged about 4,000 public service workers in the state.
This, the government said, was due to dwindling financial resources and higher wage bill which it cannot sustain.
The Governor of the State, Nasir El-Rufai had insisted that the government was not elected just to pay salaries of public servants alone, but to also develop the state by building schools, hospitals, upgrading infrastructure and making it more secure and attractive to the private sector for jobs and investments.
El-Rufai had pointed out that what the Government had been receiving from the Federation Account Allocation Committee since the middle of 2020, like most other sub-nationals, could barely pay salaries and overheads.
He said that in the last six months, personnel costs have accounted for between 84.97 per cent and 96.63 per cent of FAAC transfers received by the Kaduna State Government.
While the State Government noted that the overall wages of the public sector are still relatively low, it said that the current levels are obviously limited by the resources available to the government.
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, had while condemning the decision of the state government, hinted of a five-day strike for both public and private organisations in the state.
“It is going to be a total action because we believe that El-Rufai is not alone in this action; neo-liberal forces and some governments are also part of it,” he said.
The Congress noted that the withdrawal of service will be elongated if there is no remorse from the state government.