The Federal Government on Sunday declared the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) strike as illegal.

The health workers had declared a nationwide strike, effective from midnight on Sunday over the federal government’s failure to address their demands.

But in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, the government directed the various unions in the health sector operating not to go ahead with the strike.

According to the statement, JOHESU decision to go ahead with the strike was illegal and a clear breach of the International Labour Organisation Principles and Conventions on Strike and sec. 18 of the Trades Disputes Act, Cap T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The statement read: “Parties in disputes are expected not to arm-twist, intimidate or foist helplessness on the other party while negotiations are ongoing as per sections 8 and 18 the of Trade Dispute Act 2004 barring any strike when the matters are before a conciliator and undergoing conciliation.

“Any strike now is inimical to an equable settlement of the dispute, bearing in mind, especially, that this is a grave period of a pandemic where the Federal Government has spent about N20 billion to pay April/May 2020 and an additional N8.9billion for June 2020 on COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowances, respectively, to all categories of health workers that are mainly JOHESU members.”

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