The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Thursday, called on the federal government to avert a looming indefinite strike which Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) may embark upon if their outstanding salaries occasioned by industrial dispute in 2018 are not paid.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, during a press briefing at Labour House in Abuja to mark the year 2020 Global Day of Action on Care, also said government officials were yet to learn any lesson from recent COVID-19 pandemic that has put the human race in danger.
According to him, apart from the fact that Nigeria’s health care sector has been neglected for too long, health care workers have been subjected to unfair treatment for too long, adding that government should begin to invest heavily in the sector in order to end medical tourism.
“Essential workers as they are often called at crisis times, do not have the necessary personal protective equipment to work with, especially before the outbreak of COVID-19,” he lamented.
He added: “I also wish to use this occasion to call on the Federal Government to pay the two months’ salaries owed health workers arising from an industrial dispute in 2018.
“The recent 7 days warning strike by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to resolve the outstanding issues is yet to receive the attention of Government and a social dialogue meeting on this matter is yet to be convened.
“We also demand a quick conclusion on negotiations on salary adjustment for JOHESU members in line with alternative dispute resolution processes of National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which all parties involved in the negotiation were subjected to.
“We call for an end to all forms of medical tourism, especially by our elected and appointed public officials.
“We reiterate our position that government must be ready to invest heavily in the health sector as no country survives without effective health care.”