By Joan Nwagwu
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is prepared to take on government at all levels over existing vacancies in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, its President Ayuba Wabba, has said.
Wabba, who made the statement on Tuesday in Abuja when he visited the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), stated that there had been complaints that existing vacancies in the MDAs had been outsourced.
“We are prepared to tackle the government over casualisation and outsourcing of government jobs,
“This is another form of slavery, as those outsourced services do not have future in the world of work because it is not decent work.
“This has also led to lack of employment in the public service with continually low productivity in government service,’’ he said.
The NLC president said that one of the goals of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) was using decent work to fight poverty, instability, insecurity and under employment.
He said that in most cases, workers who are engaged in outsourced and casual jobs are paid peanuts and do not have social protection and pension benefit.
He said: “there is no decent society where you have a poor of working poor that are working and have nothing to show for it.
“It is an aberration. We will continue to partner with you to ensure that we do not continue to have this in our society.
“Why should we invent a new paradigm were we treat our fellow Nigerians as slaves. I think that government at all levels must condemn this.
“We must be able to address this because that explain why these social vices are on the increase and our situation is getting worse.”
Wabba said that congress would continue to campaign for decent work which was part of the initiative of the International Labour Organisation and goal number 8 of the SDG.
He expressed sadness over the delay by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to issue the enabling circular that would remove the dichotomy between BSc and HND holders.
He said that the Federal Executive Council and the National Council on Education had directed that the dichotomy should be removed.
“Let them (HND holders) be given the same opportunity to do the same examinations and on the basis of competence, they should be able to get to the peak of their career without any limitation.
“NLC will write a formal letter to government to demand that this issue be given accelerated consideration,” he said.
In his remarks, NCSU President, Mr Kiri Mohammed, called on the NLC to intervene on the issue of outsourcing in the MDAs.
“Outsourcing came to light recently in the civil service by politicians who utilise it as strategy to appreciate and gratify their cronies at the expense of qualified and working civil servants.
“Schedules of work meant for civil servants like cleaners, messengers, security, among others are contracted out to private companies and firms.
“In the process, the civil servants are rendered redundant and this has eroded the membership strength of the union,” he said.
Mohammed decried failure of government to employ fresh hands into the civil service as serving ones are retiring on daily basis.
He said that the union was faced with various challenges some of which included, poaching of cadres, protracted industrial unrest in states, lack of training and retraining of union leaders, among others.