FG appeals to Joint Health Workers to call off strike

Minister of Labour, Sen. Chris Ngige
Minister of Labour, Sen. Chris Ngige

The Federal Government has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions and healthcare providers in the Federal Health Institutions operating under the auspices of (JOHESU) to call off their strike.

Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made the appeal in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Deputy Director Press in the ministry on Monday in Abuja.

Ngige expressed deep regret over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union and appealed to them to call off their industrial action.

The minister pleaded with them to return to their different beats in the hospitals and institutions.

He said that their calling off the strike would prevent unnecessary hardship and death of patients in the hospitals.

“For the avoidance of doubt, however, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, working in concert with the Ministry of Health, has fixed another conciliatory meeting for tomorrow Tuesday, 26th Sept. by 2 p.m.’’

He called on members of JOHESU to resume work as serious efforts were being made to meet their grievances, such as the payment of shortfalls of salaries, promotion arrears, repatriation allowances among others.

He said that the grievances have already been addressed by government through various negotiations with other unions representing the interest of workers.

The minister said the unions are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the last three weeks.

“I also wish to place on record that JOHESU had wrongly issued a seven-day strike ultimatum on Sept. 14, instead of the mandatory fifteen-day notice the law requires of those on essential duties.

“The body took another wrong step by routing its notice of action to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) instead of the Labour and Employment Minister.

“JOHESU is fully aware that the minister is empowered by the Section 5(6) of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 to apprehend such dispute within the time frame of notice and effect conciliation thereafter.’’ He said.