Health workers in Nasarawa State have begun an indefinite strike action to press home their demands for improved welfare packages.
The spokesperson of the workers, Mr Kyari Caleb, who doubles as the Chairman of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, revealed this while addressing journalists in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on Monday.
He explained that the indefinite industrial action was agreed upon by the members in a meeting held by the association.
According to him, some of their complaints include lack of promotions among members since 2011, failure on implementation of N30, 000 minimum wage for its members and lack of annual increment among others.
He added further that the coalition had been patient, saying ‘’but we are pushed to the wall.’’
He maintained that in June 2020 the union had embarked on a strike over the same issues, but it had to suspend the strike after the state government appealed to it.
The Chairman emphasised that after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the government pledged to begin implementation of their demands immediately, adding that the government had reneged in its promise since 2020.
He said that the members of the association in all the tertiary health facilities in the state had withdrawn their services with effect from Monday, June 7, 2021, till further notice.
He affirmed that members would continue to stay at home until the government do the needful.
Reacting to the planned strike, the Head of Service of Nasarawa State, Mr Nicholas Aboki, had earlier in a press briefing on Friday, June 4, 2021, urged the unions to suspend their planned strike action, noting that the government was working hard to improve their welfare.

The Nasarawa State Government said it has commenced payment of the N30, 000 new national minimum wages, but only to civil servants from grade levels 1-6 benefitting.

In the Nasarawa State Organised Labour Bulleting No 3, 2021 which Daily Trust obtained on June 7, 2021, the union blamed Governor Sule for lavishing money on exotic cars and cash disbursement to traditional rulers amounting to several millions of naira while workers’ welfare were undermined.

The bulletin read in part: “More sympathetic than worrisome is that the government keeps telling the workers that there is no money to address their welfare who have toyed day and night for the development of Nasarawa State.”

“Equally important to note is the fact that government has deliberately refused to pay the May 2021 salary to workers even as we have laboured for it and the money has been domiciled in the subtreasury for over a week,” it added.

“Therefore, arising from SAC/SEC meeting of the organised labour held on 2nd June in the Abdullahi Adamu Labour House, Lafia resolved to issue a 7-days ultimatum in line with the labour laws after which 3-days warning strike shall be embarked upon immediately.”

However, the Nasarawa State government, Monday, said it has commenced payment of the N30, 000 new national minimum wage to only civil servants from grade levels 1-6.

Speaking on the matter, the state Accountant General (AG), Mr Zakka Yakubu, said the implementation had commenced in June only for civil servants who are on grade level 6 downward.