Workers at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) Aba, have embarked on an indefinite strike action over the non-payment of 22 months salary arrears.
The decision came as a result of the expiration of the warning strike issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) to the Abia Government via a letter dated October 20 and acknowledged by the government.
In a letter made available to newsmen, Chairman, JAC, Mr Samuel Kalu said the organised labour in ABSUTH resolved to embark on the strike as the government did not meet their demands.
The letter was signed by representatives of the unions.
The unions are the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), and Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI).
According to the letter, the Joint Unions of ABSUTH under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) informed the government that they exhausted their patience and can no longer watch their members and their families die in penury due to the non-payment of the 22 months salary arrears.
The letter read: “Equally, we wish to inform the government that for the past seven years, no pensioner in ABSUTH had been paid a dime and this cannot be allowed to continue.
“Consequently, the JAC gives the government seven days ultimatum to address these grievances or face an indefinite strike action from midnight of Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, to press home our demands.”
Meanwhile, Kalu told journalists that the unions could no longer endure the treatment the state government was giving to them.
“We waited until now to announce this because we had been hoping that after everything, Abia Government will change its minds and obey an earlier agreement we entered to be paying us consistently and gradually.
“But the state government remained adamant and reneged on its promise.
“We waited to this time because of the weekend and the sit-at-home in the South East and now, it is official that ABSUTH workers have resumed an indefinite strike because the government had not responded as expected.
“We have told them that if they are considerate to pay us five months arrears at once, we will consider the patients that need the services of the hospital and return but if not, the strike continues,” he added.
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