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Indefinite strike looms at FMC, Umuahia

By Agwu Okojogho, Umuahia on 06/06/2015

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Dark cloud of industrial disharmony appears to be gathering at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia over alleged refusal of the management of the hospital to remit arrears of 20 months check-off dues deducted from salaries of members of the state branch of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) to the union.

The union claimed that the hospital management has paid deaf ears to its repeated requests for remittance of the dues running into millions of naira and warned that if there was no positive response from the hospital management, its members would embark on indefinite industrial action.

Already, the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congres (NLC), having received a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) petition from MHWUM, has issued a 21-day ultimatum to FMC management to honour its obligation to MHWUN or the union would be forced to declare industrial dispute between Labour and the hospital.

MHWUN, Abia State, had in a statement issued in Umuahia and endorsed by the Chairman of the State Caretaker Committee, Comrade Christopher Uche Ezekiel, and the Secretary, Comrade Enyinnaya E. Ogbonna, disclosed that FMC management has failed to release the check off dues it deducted from the monthly salaries of its members from October 2013-May 2015 to the Union.

“We wish to remind the Medical Director, Dr. Chuku Abali and management that under the Procurement Act and Trade Union Act (Consolidation) Act as amended 2005, it is illegal, criminal and unlawful to deduct check-off dues from union members’ salaries and withholding same without releasing it to the derserving Union,” MHWUN maintained.

They, therefore, appealed to the hospital management to release to the union, its accumulated check-off dues “as the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has seriously warned that it would not condone any acts of corruption.”

“The State Executive Council of this union has equally felt bad that the management of FMC, Umuahia has flouted the Abia State Government’s directives and the clarification by the Industrial Court on its order for the release the Union’s Check-off dues to the State Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Comrade Christopher Uche Ezekiel since 2014,” MHWUN added.

The union leaders recalled within the period under review, the Union has written about seven correspondences to the management, requesting for audience as an avenue to resolve issues at stake peacefully but regretted that the hospital management snubbed such moves.

The union said it has equally contacted the chairman of FMC’s Governing Board, Dr. Mikel Chibok, over the stand of the hospital management and appealing to the authorities at the Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to intervene in the matter so as to prevent any possible breakdown of industrial harmony at FMC, Umuahia.

Efforts to reach the Medical Director and his Special Assistant on Labour, Lovina Okoro, Thursday yielded no positive fruits as they were said not to be on seat when our Correspondent visited the hospital.

•Photo shows Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, chairman, Abia NLC.

Source News Express

Posted 06/06/2015 04:24:53 AM

 

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