Following a warning protest, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), has given the Federal government a 7 day ultimatum to either come to a consensus on how to address its demand, or face the risk of a nationwide strike
Backstory: Speaking on behalf of the union at a protest march on Monday, Josiah Biebelemoye, National Chairman of the Union, said the warning protest was done in collaboration with other members of Organized Labor such as the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TLC), to make stakeholders and the government aware of the abysmal state of the health sector.
He said the 7 day ultimatum which kicked off on Monday January 4th, was also in consultation with religious clerics.
“Fortunately and unfortunately, we met the Minister of Health in the church where we worship and the Overseer told him that he is in a better position to resolve this matter and allow the populace to receive better health.
“The cleric further pleaded with us to exercise some patience, hence we decided to give the seven days ultimatum after which we will report to the NLC that decided to take over the matter,” Biobelemoye said.
While some of the complaints bothered on the lack of salaries between April and May last year, the union also stressed the need for improvements in the health sector as a whole to enable ease of work and help save more lives.
Support from Other Labor Unions: Pledging their support to the cause, Ayuba Wabba, National Chairman, NLC, while addressing the potential strike, noted that the working environment of the health sector must be in clean and in good shape, for better healthcare development.
“Health workers deserve better working environment for good health care development in the country,” he added.
Bottom Line: This threat comes after the threat of a general strike last year which cast a shadow on the country, and also the yet to be resolved ASUU strike, which has kept a vast majority of Nigerian youths away from school. While it appears that the labour unions are attempting to use the coming election as a negotiating tool, it is worrying how dissatisfied Nigerian workers are.