Nigeria - Kaduna State government fails to negotiate with the unions and threatens sanctions for the strike action

On 10 January 2018, the Kaduna State governor together with the state commissioner of police used several press conferences to threaten the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with sanctions in case of organising solidarity protests in Kaduna State. On the same day, the state government declared that it would invoke the policy of no-work, no-pay on all those workers who joined the strike. The NLC planned to support the Kaduna NLC council, which had gone on an indefinite strike to protest the sacking of over 21,000 primary school teachers for allegedly failing competency tests, organised in the framework of the so-called Public Service Revitalisation and Renewal Project adopted by the state government in 2017. According to the NLC, the tests were conducted without involvement of the relevant professional bodies such as the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria and the National Teachers Institute. The unions, particularly the Nigeria Union of Teachers and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, were also not involved. According to the NLC, the tests were organised by the Kaduna State government as a pre-meditated action to reduce the public sector workforce in order to apply for a World Bank loan. The state restructuring policy would affect, apart from teachers, around 4,000 local government workers and 8,000 workers from various state ministries, departments and agencies.

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