The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it is ready to meet the Federal Government in court, insisting it will continue with the industrial action.
In a letter sent to NARD and the Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday, August 12, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said he had taken NARD to the Industrial Court following its failure to call off the indefinite strike it began on August 2.
But speaking with Tribune Online on Saturday, August 14, NARD President, Dr Akhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, said that despite the threats from the Minister of Labour, the strike will continue and the union will meet with representatives of the labour ministry at the court on Monday to justify its decision.
“We are law abiding and we have spoken to our lawyer and will go to court by 11am. That is the situation now.
“Since reconciliation has failed with the labour Minister, the right thing under the law is to go to the industrial court which is what we have done. So, hopefully we will be able to resolve the issue of the strike. But for now, the strike continues,” Uyilawa said.
In the official notification, Ngige had said: “Whereas, trade dispute has arisen and now exists between the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors and the Federal Ministry of Health/ Federal Government and whereas, efforts to promote settlement through conciliation were ongoing but had now failed.
“And considering the facts that members of NARD, who are classified as essen- tial services workers/em- ployees had embarked on strike on Monday, August 2, 2021, over the issues under conciliation, contrary to the provisions of section 18 of the Trade Disputes Act CAP T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, after attending a Conciliation and Agreement Review meeting on July 22, 2021, and further considering that the Federal Ministry of Health claims to have and produced evidence to have met most of their demands based on the various Memorandum of Action reached during past conciliations especially that of July 22, 2021
“Now, therefore, I, Senator Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, in the exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 17 of the Trades Disputes Act, CAP T8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, hereby refer the matter for consideration, and the issues in dispute to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication.”