CDWR – We support the strike action of resident doctors in Abuja
We condemn the refusal of the Government to meet the demands of the resident doctors for hazard allowances; it shows the irresponsibility of the Government
Demands of the striking doctors must be met immediately!
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights, CDWR, Abuja chapter, salutes the decision of the Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Capital Territory Administration (ARD FCTA) to embark on an indefinite strike action. This decision was made due to the refusal of the government to pay the Covid-19 hazard and inducement allowance and variation of the 2018 promotion exercise.
The decision for a strike action shows the irresponsibility of government at all levels. Given that we are in a period of health emergency, a responsible and serious government ought to take drastic steps to ensure health workers are placed under better working conditions that can guarantee effective provision of quality services without them having to embark on industrial actions. Sadly, the Buhari APC government being a capitalist government is not only unserious but also irresponsible towards the needs of working people, hence the health sector is still enmeshed in same crises it has before the Covid-19 outbreak; it has even worsened due to the heavy burden on the decrepit health facilities. For us in the CDWR, Abuja Chapter, the strike action is a step in the right direction; however, there is need to back it up with more public actions built from below including socially-distanced protest and leafletting in order to build public support for the strike. This is to ensure that Government is forced to meet the demands.
We of the CDWR, Abuja chapter, call for the immediate payment of hazard allowance to the striking resident doctors and other health workers. We also demand overhaul of health facilities and recruitment of health workers to ensure health workers are not overwhelmed and exposed to danger as it is currently the case.
We also seize this opportunity to call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to throw their weights behind the striking doctors by mobilising health workers and the working masses to demand for free and quality healthcare through proper funding of the health sector and democratic management of the health sector by unions in the sector. This is because the demand of health workers for better working conditions is in the interest of the working masses who have also been victims of the underfunding of healthcare amidst other attacks against public health.
Comrade Emeka Awuzie
Coordinator, CDWR, Abuja chapter