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.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, made the appeal in a statement signed by the Deputy Director Press in the ministry, Mr Samuel Olowokere, on Monday in Abuja.
Ngige appealed to the union to call off the strike and return to their different beats in the hospitals and institutions, as he expressed deep regret over the ongoing strike, saying that calling off the strike would prevent unnecessary hardship and death of patients in the hospitals.
He urged members of JOHESU to resume work as serious efforts were being made to meet their grievances, such as the payment of shortage of salaries, repatriation allowances, promotion arrears amongst others, stating that the grievances have already been addressed by the government through various negotiations with other unions representing the interest of workers.
In his words, “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.
“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.’’