From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Director General of Micheal Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Issa Aremu, has called for dialogue and suspension of the industrial strike embarked upon by resident doctors across Nigeria.
Aremu said it was time all parties suspended the existing actions and return to negotiations in the health sector.
He also called for urgent reform of the industrial relations system in the country’s health sector for sustainable peace and service delivery.
The Director General in a statement made available to reporters on Tuesday said it was time stakeholders in the health sector played by what he called ‘the knowledge-based rules of collective bargaining, social dialogue, mediation and conciliation to prevent incessant work stoppages in hospitals with attendant costs to lives.’
While condemning what he called ‘delayed and non-payment of workers’ in the health sector, Aremu condemned the prevalence of indefinite strikes in the sector which he said had led to avoidable loss of lives.
‘I have also been saying that delayed payment of salaries of medical personnel such as doctors and nurses and teachers amounted to wage theft.
‘But so also indiscriminate indefinite strike under a COVID-19 amounts to willful unacceptable Industrial suicide.
‘MINILS was set to bridge the existing abysmal knowledge gap about labour market issues with respect to trade unionism, conflict resolution, strikes and strike management in critical sectors like education and health sectors.
‘A strike is not a war, certainly not a mutually assured destructive war as we are witnessing in Nigeria. Strike is a temporary stoppage of work by a group of employees in order to express a grievance or enforce a demand after which the workers would return to the same jobs with the same terms,’ the statement read.