Strike: JOHESU unaware of court order – Chairman

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The national secretariat of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has said that the union was not aware of a court order directing its members to resume work within 24 hours.

The union said this in a statement jointly signed by Messrs Biobelemoye Josiah and Ekpebor Florence, the National Chairman and Secretary of JOHESU, respectively, on Friday.

A copy of the statement dated May 17, with reference number: HQ/JOHESU/ADM/VOL.III/563, was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto.

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It was apparently reacting to a widely circulated report ordering the union to suspend its protracted strike.

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“It has come to the notice that some propagandists are circulating this false information in order to mislead members,” the statement said.

The union leaders urged members to remain steadfast in compliance with the earlier directive given to sustain the nationwide strike until further instructions were issued by JOHESU.

The national chairman of the union also confirmed signing the latest circular to all JOHESU branches in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

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NAN recalls that the National Industrial Court on Thursday in Abuja ordered the striking JOHESU members to suspend their nationwide on-going strike and resume work within 24 hours.

Justice Babatunde Adejumo gave the order following an ex-parte motion filed by an NGO represented by Mr Okere Nnamdi.

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

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Adejumo, who is also the President of NICN, ordered the Minister of Health, Minister of Labour and Employment, among others, to immediately set up a committee to address issues raised by labour.

The judge 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.

The judge also ordered that the President and Vice President of JOHESU should attend such negotiations.

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He said that the negotiations should take into consideration the provisions of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Act.

Joined as respondents in the suit are the president and vice president of JOHESU as well as the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.

JOHESU embarked on the industrial action on April 17, demanding for improved facilities, upward adjustment of CONHESS salary scale, and employment of additional health professionals.

Other demands are implementation of court judgments, upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, and harmonisation of salaries of all healthcare workers in the country.

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The matter was adjourned until June 4 for hearing of motion on notice and originating summons.

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