"What is happening in Kaduna is not an industrial action but a campaign of social and economic sabotage"
A defiant Kaduna State government has said the five-day warning strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), which began on Monday, will not distract it from its plan to 'rightsize' the civil service of the state.
The state government dismissed the strike and street protests as an attempt by labour union leaders to sabotage its policy but said the first day of the strike has not affected the operations of the government.
The state's Head of Service, Bara'atu Mohammed, said this to journalists in Kaduna during a brief state executive council meeting on Monday.
Mrs Mohammed said the state government will not rescind the decison to sack civil servants that are not needed in the state.
She said the NLC strike and protest were an attempt to sabotage the policy of the government, vowing ,however, that the government will not be distracted.
"What is happening in Kaduna is not an industrial action but a campaign of social and economic sabotage.
"Kaduna State government is functioning despite the illegal attempt to block our offices, hospitals and schools. The schools are opened, our offices are opened, the hospitals are opened.
"NLC are aware that inflicting pains on citizens by locking hospitals and shutting down electricity will not change the decision of Kaduna State government to rightsize and will not change our intention to use the Trade Union Act which prohibits strike by extension service workers."
Mrs Mohammed also said she received the leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in hear office Monday morning who told the government they will not be part of the NLC strike.
"The TUC met with us today and we had a fruitful discussion. It was a good discussion. They also promised us they will not be party to the NLC strike in the state.
The five-day warning strike called by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State kicked off Monday morning, with officials of the union picketing government ministries and parastatals and denying civil servants access to the state secretariat.
Civil servants, in their hundreds, stood at the gate of the state secretariat on the popular Independence Way on Monday morning after union officials picketed the facility.
The NLC had called on all unions to join the warning strike it called to force the state government to rescind its plan to sack many civil servants and "rightsize" the state's bureaucracy.
They marched from the state secretariat to the state House of Assembly complex before retiring at the Labour office in Kaduna.