Nigeria Labour Congress Kaduna State Council as well as Textile Workers union have urged the Northern governors to revive the moribund Kaduna Textile Limited (KTL) and pay backlog of salaries and other financial entitlements owed the workers.
The KTL which was one of the legacies of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello was established in 1957 and resumed operations in 1959.
Marking the International Day of Decent Work on Thursday, the labour Unionists used the occasion to protest peacefully against alleged plans by the governors to sell the 64-year old textile factory.
Addressing the protesting members at the gate of KTL, Kaduna, the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman said since the factory was closed in 2002, the staff were not paid their entitlements and salaries.
He said it was wrong for the governors to contemplate selling the moribund textile industry without addressing the outstanding staff salaries which the industrial court gave judgement in 2005 that the staff be settled.
“We have a message for the 19 northern governors because the KTL is under thier custody. We understand that the governors want to sell the factory.
“We consider it as a wrong decision to sell Sardauna legacy, instead bring it back to life, revive the textile industry to give jobs to unemployed people in the society. What do the governors want to do with the money if they sell KTL?
“We also want to remind the governors that in 2005 there was court judgement which ordered for settlement of all financial entitlements of the 6000 laid off workers, amounting to N600 million.
“Although some of the workers are dead, they have next of kins and family members to collect their entitlements”. Comrade Suleiman said.
Earlier, the Assistant Secretary General of National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Kola Ishola said if the governors must sell the KTL, they should ensure payment of the outstanding debts owed the workers.
Comrade Ishola however reminded the northern governors that KTL was the first textile factory in the country, saying that selling it off amounted to killing Sardauna’s legacy.
Some of the placards displayed by the protesting Labour members carried inscriptions like, “Northern governors reopen KTL and all closed factories in the North and create jobs.
“Sustain the legacy of Sardauna, KTL. Workers rights are human rights”.