Unions berate FG over plan to sack 3,500 workers

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Organised Labour has condemned the Federal Government’s alleged plan to sack 3,500 public servants on the grounds that they got appointment in irregular and unauthorised circumstances.
This is even as it has warned that the planned mass sack of public servants, if  not put on hold, would trigger industrial crisis in the public service, the magnitude of which no one could predict.
Under the umbrella of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN),  the labour movement expressed shock that the Federal Government wanted to send 3,500 employees to the saturated job market at a time when millions of Nigerians were dying of starvation, with some committing suicide because of harsh economic conditions imposed on them by the government.
ASCSN Secretary-General,  Alade Bashir Lawal, stated that:  “The greatest tragedy of this insensitive, planned retrenchment is that the association has already taken the Federal Government to court on this matter and the least we expect in a normal democratic society is for the government to allow the court process to be pursued to its logical conclusion and in the interim maintain the status quo ante on the matter.
“It must be emphasised that, if citizens begin to disrespect the judicial process and resort to self-help as this government has been doing, sooner or later, the entire society will be engulfed in anarchy.”
The ASCSN scribe said when the union got the information that the Federal Government had concluded plans to sack about 6,000 workers because they were alleged to have been illegally recruited by the last administration, the association filed a suit in the National Industrial Court (NIC) to forestall the move.
He added that the case, in suit No. NICN/459/2016, filed by the ASCSN at the NIC, Abuja, against the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, came up for hearing on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, and had been adjourned to Monday February 27, 2017.
“Since Nigeria is practicing democracy, based on the rule of law, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation should, pending the outcome of the court process, stop further action on the impending mass sack of 6,000 workers, which the government is now telling the public that it is 3,500 it wants to disengage in order to mellow down their anger.
“We cannot continue with this culture of impunity where government officials see themselves as demigods who are above the laws of the country,” he said.
Lawal declared that the ASCSN position was, even if the workers were recruited from certain parts of the country, government should employ people from the other parts of the country so as to balance the deficit, instead of throwing 6,000 workers into the job market.
“At any rate, was any due diligence done to establish whether these workers were engaged in the first instance because their area has been marginalised in the past?” the union wondered.
The ASCSN regretted that a government that came to power promising to create millions of jobs had been preoccupied with devising all forms of trickery to indulge in mass sack of Nigerian workers.
Lawal added that, “As we write, thousands of federal public servants are yet to be paid their promotion arrears outstanding for about 10 years as well as other benefits while, currently, salaries have not been paid to certain categories of civil servatns since December 2016, yet, instead of paying workers their legitimate entitlements, government is bent on inflicting maximum pain on public servants.”

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