MEMBERS of Nigeria’s Joint Health Sector Unions (Johesu) have returned to work today following the suspension of the seven-day warning strike by the union’s leadership over the refusal of the government to meet their demands regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Johesu has been at arms with the federal government over the supply of personal protective equipment and the payment of special Covid-19 allowances to its members. Yesterday, however, the unions called off their strike, despite the federal government’s refusal to address the health workers’ demands.
Biobelemoye Josiah, the Johesu chairman, said their next line of action would be decided by the expanded national executive council in due course. He accused the government of resorting to intimidation and blackmail, instead of calling the leadership for dialogue to resolve the trade dispute.
On September 13, Johesu, proceeded on strike following the refusal of the federal government to meet its members’ demands. Some of Johesu’s grievances include the non-implementation of the September 20, 2017 agreement, refusing to honour court judgments in its favour; a review of the implementation of Covid-19 hazard allowance and the non-payment of all withheld salaries, among others.
Mr Josiah said: “This is to bring to your notice that the seven-day nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the members of the Joint Health Sector Unions would come to an end midnight today, 20 September, 2020. By this notice, all health workers under the five unions that make up Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals Association shall return to work on Monday, 21st September, 2020 across all federal health institutions in the country.
”However, since the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health has continued to exhibit high level of bias/discrimination by refusing to address the demands of our members as presented by Johesu within the seven-days of the warning strike as was done to other bodies in the health sector, the next line of action would be decided in due course by the expanded national executive council of Johesu. It is pertinent to also inform the general public that rather than call Johesu for dialogue to resolve the trade dispute, the federal government has resorted to intimidation and blackmail of Johesu leaders using all forms of instruments and faceless organisations.
“Johesu will continue to use all legitimate means to defend the rights and demands for the welfare of its members in the health sector. Nigerian should bear us witness that Johesu has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare delivery.”