Put the Welfare of Your Patients First, FG Tells Striking JOHESU

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Put the Welfare of Your Patients First, FG Asks Striking JOHESU
Nwolu Obiajulu
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The Federal Government has asked members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to disregard the strike action declared for Sunday midnight, asking them to “put the welfare of their patients and Nigeria first.”

This comes after JOHESU in a statement said that with effect from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020, our members shall withdraw their services due to Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands.

This Ministry of Labour in a statement titled, ‘FG declares JOHESU strike is unnecessary, ill-time and illegal’ said it had apprehended the dispute with the conciliation initiated last Thursday, which is still ongoing.

According to the statement signed by Mr. Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, he described the strike as illegal as it breaches the International Labour Organisation Principles and Conventions on Strike and laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

It said the laws bar health workers on essential services such as pharmacists, nurses/midwives, radiographers which all form part of JOHESU from embarking on strike during emergencies.

It read in part, “Parties in disputes are expected not to arm-twist, intimidate or foist helplessness on the other party while negotiations are ongoing as per sections 8 and 18 the of Trade Dispute Act 2004 barring any strike when the matters are before a conciliator and undergoing conciliation.

“Any strike now is inimical to an equable settlement of the dispute, bearing in mind, especially, that this is a grave period of a pandemic where the Federal Government has spent about N20 billion to pay April/May 2020 and an additional N8.9b for June 2020 on COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowances, respectively, to all categories of health workers that are mainly JOHESU members.”

He added that JOHESU leadership should have a rethink “on this illegal strike by putting the welfare of their patients and Nigeria first.”

 

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