December 20, 2018

Enugu psychiatric hospital workers embark on 3-day warning strike

Shehu Badamasi

•Deserted ward at a General Hospital.

By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU—ALL workers, except doctors, at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu, FNHE, yesterday, embarked on a three-day warning strike to press home their demand for the management of the hospital to redeem the agreement it entered into with the labour leaders of the hospital.

The workers said they agreed on two weeks within which the management and the board would meet their demands, else they would resume the strike. They said they had waited for nine months without the management fufilling the obligations, hence they embarked on sit-without-work action which would last from Wednesday to Friday this week.

Breaking: FG, ASUU fail to reach agreement, adjourn meeting again

They said that if the hospital management continued being adamant to their demands, they would  have no other option than to resume the suspended strike and completely paralise the hospital from January 2019.

Managing Director of the hospital, Dr. Jojo Onwukwe did not respond to the text message sent to his phone, neither did he pick calls placed on him over the development.

However, Vanguard learnt that he had on Monday issued a circular of “No work No pay” for workers that participate in the strike.

In the circular to the workers over the strike, Onwukwe said that “all the conditions outlined in your letter have been addressed except payment of promotion arrears, which you know the management cannot do anything about but government has promised to pay soon.”

Unity Bank wins CBN ‘Sustainable Transaction of the Year in Agriculture’ Award

Acting chairman of Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, in the hospital, Anthony Ozurumba, who addressed newsmen said the workers demands included payment of their shortfall between February and December 2017; payment of their promotion arrears from 2014 to 2017; correction of administrative anomalies, injustice and punitive postings; payment of relativity allowance to affected staff such as laboratory and pharmacy workers; 14 months teaching allowance, among  others.

Ozurumba said, “We have been calling on the federal government since 2015 to come and look into these issues and government has not answered us. We don’t know who are protecting this man. The federal government should come to this hospital and look into the activities of this man (the managing director).