By AbdulRaheem Aodu
Over 8,000 unpaid textile workers in Kaduna have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately approve the agreement with Sur International Textiles.
They also called for the release of federal government’s counterpart fund for the company to commence production of military and paramilitary uniforms at KTL in Kaduna.
Speaking under the aegis of Coalition of Closed Unpaid Textile Workers Association, Kaduna, the textile workers, also appealed to the Northern state governors to pay the terminal benefi ts and gratuities of Kaduna Textiles Limited (KTL) workers, who have not been paid anything since the company folded up in 2002, to enable them take care of their families’ needs.
The Coalition tasked the owners of Nortex and Finetex to pay their workers’ gratuity and terminal benefits that amounts to N1.4 billion since 2002, and called on Arewa Textiles Limited management under Ms Nemile Achimugu to resolve it’s issues with Union Bank and pay theirworkers their gratuities and benefi ts.
Speaking during a special prayer rally held at KTL, Kaduna at the weekend for God to intervene on the non-payment of their gratuities and terminal benefi ts, as well as the reopening of the textile companies, Chairman and Secretary of the Coalition of Closed Unpaid Textile Workers Association, Comrade Wordam Simdik and Comrade Gabriel Ishatah, respectively said they have lost 1,180 members to death in the last 15 years of the struggle.
“We are here this morning to pray for the unity of Nigeria and to seek God’s intervention in the payment of our terminal benefi t and gratuity.
We are calling for urgent intervention of all stakeholders to save over 8,000 workers.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Minister of Finance to make available all documents and papers in her possession on the Federal Government’s agreement with Turkish fi rm, Sur International Textiles to produce armed forces and other paramilitary uniforms in Kaduna Textiles Limited, for his approval, and for Federal Government to immediately release it’s 45% share of the funding for the project to kickoff .
“We appeal to the 19 Northern Governors Forum owners of KTL, NNDC and board of directors and management of KTK to as a matter of urgencypay our US our terminal benefi ts and gratuities owed us since the closure of KTL in 2002 (15 years) with no kobo paid to workers.