The conciliatory meeting between Federal Government and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) between Tuesday and Wednesday was deadlock.
Leadership of various unions who conveyed at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja to review the negotiation between the parties, failed to embrace concede to the appeal made by Federal Government’s negotiation team led by Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.
Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, JOHESU National Chairman and Ekpebor Florence, JOHESU National Secretary conveyed the resolution of the coalition in a statement issued in Abuja.
The striking para-medical workers who work in all federal health institutions across the country, had on Wednesday, 20th September, 2017 declared “Operation Alligator Bite” as part of efforts geared toward pressing home the 12-point demands.
“As a result of the ongoing negotiation between JOHESU and the Federal Government, the leadership of JOHESU wish to inform all members that negotiation is ongoing and the strike continues nationwide in all federal health institutions and further directives will be given after meeting with Federal Government on Saturday, 30th September, 2017.
“In the light of the above, state councils are further directed to put on hold the commencement of their strike initially billed for Thursday, 28th of September, 2017 due to the ongoing talks.
“JOHESU commends members nationwide for their steadfastness and we hope that government will seize this opportunity to effectively meet our demands in order to shorten the life span of the strike,” the statement stated.
Addressing the leadership of JOHESU, the Minister who blamed the immediate past administration for failing to meet its obligation, called for synergy in the bid to put in place permanent structures for peace in industrial trade unionism through selfless assessment of the extant economic situation in the country.
“We all know the economy is not in good shape. If there were promises made when oil was selling at 150 dollars per barrel and those promises were not kept, it will not be very reasonable to expect a government that came in while oil is selling at 40 or 50 dollars to pay backlogs. But that is what we are suffering here.
“So, I made it clear to the Resident Doctors, university teachers and am making it clear here. We all have to make sacrifices to make Nigeria great,” Ngige urged.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja