Saturday, August 24, 2013

Federal Health Workers Embark On Indefinite Strike Leaving Patients Stranded

The health minister failed to honour a meeting with the union.Some federal health workers have embarked on another round of indefinite nationwide strike over the none implementation of key issues affecting the union’s welfare.A statement by the National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Ayuba Wabba, on Thursday, and co-signed by other executives noted that the federal government had failed in its responsibilities in implementing the demands of the union even after court directives.
The striking workers include laboratory technicians, nurses and so on.

The union expressed its disappointment at the absence of the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, and his representatives at a meeting held in Abuja on August 19 at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Muhammed Lawal, to deliberate on the contending issues between the union and government.
“We are therefore left with no other option than to direct all members to commence an indefinite strike action with effect from 12 midnight on Wednesday 21 August 2013, unfailingly,” the statement read.

The union threatened that if their demands are not met within one week of the commencement of the strike, that they would mobilise their colleagues serving at the state and local government level to join the strike in solidarity.
According to the statement, the union had earlier issued a 21 day ultimatum to the federal government to fulfill their agreement by the August 19 meeting.

The union said it challenged the government at the Industrial Court for 13 months; and the court ruled in the favour of the union. It said the court ordered the federal government to honor the agreement earlier reached with the union without further delays.
When contacted, the Health Minister said the government had appealed the ruling of the Industrial Court and expected the health workers to wait for the end of the judicial process.