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Strike: Court orders health workers to resume within 24 hours

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Strike: Court orders health workers to resume within 24 hours
  • JOHESU insists Health Minister must go

The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja yesterday ordered striking members of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend its on-going strike and resume duties across the nation within 24 hours.

This is coming as JOHESU yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately remove Professor Isaac Adewole as the minister of health, describing him as a major barrier to the resolution of the strike.

However, the trial judge and President of the Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo gave the order for JOHESU members to resume duties after listening to an ex-parte application filed by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) through its counsel, Okere Nnamdi.

The NGO, Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, in the motion urged the court to order the workers to resume work and return to negotiation table.

The court, however, ordered the ministers of Health, Labour and Employment, among others, to immediately set up a committee to address issues raised by labour.

The judge further ordered that the parties should arrive at an acceptable and amicable solution in the interest of Nigerians who are bearing the brunt of the strike action.

The court also ordered the President and Vice President of JOHESU to attend the negotiation meeting. He held that the negotiation should take into consideration provisions of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Act.

The court later adjourned till June 4 for hearing of motion on notice and originating summons Meanwhile, JOHESU yesterday urged President Buhari to remove Adewole as minister.

The union reasoned that keeping Adewole in office had become a major threat to public health, especially at a time that the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was currently rampaging Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a statement from JOHESU, signed by the National Chairman of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Joy Josiah and the union’s National Secretary, Ekpebor Florence, JOHESU said since April 25, JOHESU and the Federal Government being led by the Minister of Health had met six different times including on Monday 30 April, Thursday 3 May, Wednesday 9 May, Tuesday 15 May and Wednesday 16 May, but all the meetings had been deadlock, occasioned by Adewole’s position for the meeting to fail ‘ab initio’.

Consequently, Biobelemoye and Ekpebor urged the Federal Government to energise the deadlock negotiations between the JOHESU and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment with genuine conciliators who had national interest.

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