The staff of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, yesterday embarked on indefinite strike over issues pertaining to their unresolved salary structure and other entitlements, saying the strike would only be called off when all their grievances are met. Their demands include a return to CONHESS salary structure from CONRISE salary structure, re-introduction of staff skipping which was stopped in 2010, payment of 13th month salary, arrears and other entitlements. They also demanded that staff with Higher National Diploma, HND, be made to enjoy similar rights with the degree holders.
The workers displayed various placards with these inscriptions: ‘Take Us Back To CONHESS Now’, ‘Oni Must Go, Pay Us Our 2012/13 Promotion Arrears Now’, ‘CONHESS Or No Work’, and ‘NAFDAC Leadership Has Failed.’ While officially declaring the industrial action at the Lagos State office of NAFDAC, the chairman Area Council of Medical Health Workers Union Lagos, Stephen N. Ibe, said having had several meetings with all concerned parties and waited for so long without any solution to their complaints, the staff members had no option than to embark on indefinite strike.
He said, “We are here today to let management of NAFDAC, Ministry of Health, Wages and Salary Commission and the Federal Government know that the union has waited a long time and has now run out of patience. “We started this struggle in March last year, but they decided not to listen to us. We cried to Federal Ministry of Health, Salary and Wages Commission, (but) they said we should die and rendered no solution. The union is provoked and has no option than to embark on indefinite strike, pending when all our demands are met.” He also hinted that the planned nationwide strike by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, would have no effect on the NAFDAC action which would continue should JOHESU call off its own strike at anytime.