22 Months Salary Arrears (ABIA): ABSUTH Workers Embark On Indefinite Strike
The Joint Action Committee (JAC), of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) Aba, have embarked on indefinite strike action over non payment of salary arrears.
The JAC resolved to shut down operations as the deadline given to the state government to pay the workers 22 months salary arrears elapsed.
Speaking to NAN on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, in Aba, the Chairman, JAC, Mr. Samuel Kalu, noted that the Committee had in a letter, notified the Abia State government of a warning strike.
He said the letter dated October, 20, was acknowledged by the government. However, the government failed to grant their demands.
The letter was signed by representatives of the unions;
Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI).
The letter states inter alia;
“We the Joint Unions of ABSUTH under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) wish to inform the government that we have exhausted our patience and can no longer watch our members and their families die in penury due to non-payment of 22 months salary arrears.
“This has been made known to the government through previous notices especially the notice of April 15, 2021 and the subsequent suspension on April 16, 2021.
“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.”
Kalu said they had offered the government to pay them 5 months salary arrears at once to enable them go back to the duties but it failed to do so.
“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 still remained adamant and reneged on its own 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”.