The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) on Tuesday closed down some medical institutes in Lagos as they began an indefinite nationwide strike.
They were protesting the non-payment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) to the medical and health workers.
It was gathered that leaders of Lagos State chapter of the union went round some Federal Government-owned health institutes and hospitals in Lagos to mobilise their members for the action.
Mr Ibe Nwokenta, state chairman of the union, said that this followed the directive from the national secretariat of the union that they should commence the strike.
Nwokenta said that he was at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute-Metta, to ensure that his members complied with the directive.
“We are here to carry out the directive of the national secretariat after a meeting with the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Monday in Abuja did not yield any positive result.
“Some people do not want the government to pay the consolidated salary structure. They want CONHESS to be skipped and we will not allow that,’’ the union leader said.
He said that the union’s agitation for payment of the new salary structure started four years ago. According to him, it was regrettable that those who wanted to truncate the payment of the salary had benefited from the similar salary structures in the past.
The chairman said that the union officials would only allow the workers at FMC to continue operation till Sept. 26, to enable them to write their promotion examination.
Nwokenta advised that activities at the hospital would be paralysed after Sept. 26, even if the promotion examination was postponed.
NAN reports that the union leaders gave similar advice to the medical workers at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi and the Psychiatric Hospital at Yaba, where the workers were also writing their promotion examination.
The union leaders, however, disrupted activities at the Institute of Chartered Chemistry of Nigeria (ICCON), as they chased out the workers from their duty posts.
They left a warning that the workers should not return to work until the issue of CONHESS was resolved.
Mr Henry Etim, Chief Administrative Officer at FMC, Yaba, said that the hospital was still in operation, adding that the strike affected only members of MHWU. (NAN)