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Joint Health Workers Union Declares Nationwide Strike

Valentine Chinyem

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Governing body for all health workers in Nigeria, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has embarked on a 15-days warning strike.

This was made known in a statement titled, ‘Notice of 15-day ultimatum/outcome of JOHESU expanded NEC meeting’, on Sunday.

JOHESU in the statement asked its members to withdraw services from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020.

The leadership of the union had met with the federal government on Friday over the proposed industrial action.

At the meeting, the unions had requested to consult its members on the agreements reached with the FG and revert to the Ministry of Labour by Saturday, September 12.

However, in the statement on Sunday, JOHESU it will go ahead with the strike, over the Federal Government inability to meet its demands.

While confirming the commencement of the strike to PUNCH, the national leader of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Josiah, said, “In the light of the above, the meeting of our expanded NEC was held Saturday 12 September, 2020. And at the end of the meeting, which was held both physically and virtually, it was unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the said meeting with the Federal Government, that the strike notice is still germane and alive.

“Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists and with effect from midnight of Sunday, 13th September, 2020 our members shall withdraw their services due to Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands,” the statement added.

Recall that the had earlier addressed a letter to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, demanding a review of the COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance as well as the payment of all withheld salaries of their members, including the withheld April and May 2018 salaries.

They also demanded for the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure, implementation of National Industrial Court of Nigeria consent judgment and other court judgments and an improvement in the structural and infrastructural decay in the health sector.

The letter, which was dated August 26, was jointly signed by the President and Secretary of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Josiah and Matthew Ajurotu respectively, the President of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses And Midwives, Rauf Adeniji and A.A Shettima as well as the leadership of three other health unions.