The National Industrial Court has ordered the striking Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to return to work within 24 hours.
However, the union says it remains ‘unmoved’ by the order given on Thursday in Abuja by Justice Babatunde Adejumo of the Court.
According to Daily Trust newspaper, the order followed an ex-parte motion filed by a non-governmental organisation challenging the industrial action by the health workers.
The NGO, Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, in the motion, prayed the court to order the workers to resume work and go back to the negotiation table.
The judge also ordered the ministers of Health, as well as Labour and Employment to immediately set up a committee to address issues raised by the parties.
Responding to the development on Friday, an official of JOHESU said the union was yet to be served with the order.
“There is no paper to that effect. It is only on the pages of newspaper and television that we saw it,”,Olatunji Tajudeen, JOHESU Lagos State Council Chairman told PREMIUM TIMES. “There should be a notice properly served,” he added.
The official however said the union was ‘unmoved’ by any judgment and that the strike will continue until the workers’ demands are met.
He said the unions’ new demand is that both the ministers of health and labour be ‘removed’.
Mr Tajudeen described both officials as ‘biased’ in the ongoing negotiations between the union and government.
JOHESU, an association of health workers except doctors, has been on strike for more than a month.
The strike began on April 17 at federal hospitals across the country until a week ago when members of JOHESU in the employ of state and local governments joined in.
Meanwhile, JOHESU has directed its members in Lagos, Yobe and Kano to return go work following efforts by the state governments to meet their local demands.
On that, the Lagos union leader said, “Yes we have returned to work and opened up our emergency unit following efforts made by our state government to meet our local demands.
“We only do skeletal and emergency response at the moment.”
No common ground has been reached in the of meetings between the union and the federal government.
JOHESU blamed the ‘slow pace’ of the federal government on a recent threat by medical doctors to withdraw services if government accedes to the union’s demands.