NLC Members' Protest in Kaduna State Photo Collage: Daily Post

Staff Disengagement: Workers shut airport, fuel queues appear as NLC protests in Kaduna

*The Nigeria Labour Congress embarks on a warning strike, saying ‘it is only Kaduna State of all the 36 states of the Federation that threw workers out of their jobs’

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In activating its earlier announced five-day warning strike across the Northern state, members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Monday, May 17, 2021, gathered in Kaduna State to protest against the recent disengagement of over 7,000 civil servants in the state and local government councils by the Kaduna State Government.

ConsumerConnect reports that the leadership of the NLC and the affiliate Labour unions have said the industrial action will run its full course unless the Kaduna State Government attends to the workers’ grievances.

Earlier, aviation workers have shut down operations at the Kaduna International Airport (KIA) effective Sunday midnight in apparent solidarity with the NLC protest in the state.

It was learnt the workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), said the airport would remain shut for the period of the warning strike.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, National Chairman of the Labour Union in the country, during the protest, said due process was not observed in the state government’s recent sack of the workers from the Local Government Service, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Primary Health Care Agency in Kaduna State.

Wabba disclosed that all the unions, including Students’ Unions and pensioners are part of the Kaduna protests as they are all directly affected by the disengagement of workers.

He stated: “All those that are here today are those that are directly affected. The students are here.

“The children of those workers that have been thrown out of their jobs, and were not being paid; they are here with us.

“The pensioners that were not being paid are here with us. They claim that local government employees were consulted.”

The NLC Leader further said: “The Local Government Employees are here today, they have issued a statement to say that statement was false.

“All leadership of public sector unions are here.

“It is only Kaduna State of all the 36 states of the Federation that threw workers out of their jobs….”

Other affiliate unions, including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria are also participating in the protest, according to report.

In the build up to the Monday protests, ConsumerConnect gathered that earlier Sunday, May 16, there were long queues at filling stations in various parts of the state, especially in the metropolis and other surrounding towns.

Motorists besieged fuel stations in what can be described as panic buying of petroleum products ahead of the planned industrial action by the NLC and its affiliate unions in the state.

Federal Government deploys men and resources to power plants

On the eve of the NLC strike and protest Sunday, the Federal Government was reported to have deployed men and resources to secure power plants across the country, particularly in states facing security challenges in the North Central, North-East and North-West.

The Federal Ministry of Power Sunday disclosed that security operatives had been deployed to protect the multibillion Naira Shiroro Hydropower Electricity Plant in Shiroro, Niger State, following reports that terrorists had captured part of the area.

The move, report said, came as the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) announced same day that it was forced to shut down its 33KV feeders in its substations in Kaduna, following intense pressure from members of the NLC in the state.

According to the power company, the NLC, which had embarked on industrial action in Kaduna, further forced the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) to shut down operations.

On the level of security in place to guard these critical national assets, especially the multibillion Naira Shiroro Hydropower Dam, Aaron Artimas, Special Assistant to the Minister for Power, said the officers had been deployed to protect the facility and others in various locations nationwide.

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