Doctors strike is act of rascality – Minister

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Minister of Labour and productivity Dr Chris Ngige
Minister of Labour and productivity Dr Chris Ngige

By Joan Nwagwu

The Federal Government has expressed shock and disappointment over the sudden strike of resident doctors and described it as rascality.

“This is an industrial rascality and the trade unions must fashion out ways of ensuring that their members keep to collective agreements,‘’ labour and employment minister Chris Ngige said on Tuesday.

He is irked that the strike kicked-off after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) reached an agreement on issues in dispute.

Ngige, said that government was shocked by the sudden U-turn of the association after it reached a an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health on its six-point demand.

A statement by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director Press in the Ministry on Tuesday in Abuja, quoted Ngige saying that the doctors reneged on an a agreement with detailed timelines for implementation.

“NARD signed Collective Bargaining Agreement and less than 48 hours after, they embarked on strike. This is a breach of the law.

“Workers should not breach the law of the land because the law protects them more than the employers.’’

He said that it was an issue the labour centres should address because where a “person’s rights stop, is where another man’s right start. Your right cannot be absolute.’’

“This is an industrial rascality and the trade unions must fashion out ways of ensuring that their members keep to collective agreements,‘’ he said.

The minister further said that with the powers conferred on him by the Trade Dispute Act 2004, has apprehended the ongoing strike by NARD.

He added that consequently, the meeting between NARD and the government earlier scheduled for November 2, 2017, will now be convened on Sept. 6, 2017 by 12.30p.m at the Conference Room of the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment.

“All stakeholders are implored to attend this crucial conciliation meeting.

“The health and well-being of Nigerians are cardinal to President Buhari’s administration. Hence, every measure necessary shall be taken to restore normalcy,” he said.(NAN)


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