NUPENG Joins WFTU, COSATO, NEHAWU To Picket South Africa Ministry of Health Over Anti-Labour Conducts

Members of upper echelon of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Workers (NUPENG) who are presently in South Africa have identified with WFTU, COSATO, NEHAWU, others in solidarity to picket the country’s Federal Ministry of Health in Pretoria, South Africa in protest against injustice and other anti-labour activities bedeviling workers in the health sector in Rainbow nation.

NUPENG General Secretary, Comrade Adamu Song and National Treasurer, Comrade Alex Agwanwor  were conspicuously seen outside the Ministry’s secretariat with placards conveying various inscriptions which are meant to condemn  poor conditions of service of workers in South Africa.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions also applauds the move by WFTU to declare 3rd October 2018 “the International Day of Action” fighting for workplace safety, free healthcare and social security, implementing action under the 2018 theme of “Social Services and Health”.

The 3rd of October marks the WFTU 73rd Anniversary and in celebration of this milestone, WFTU convened an education seminar which introduced working class internationalism to participants; which was held on 1-2 October 2018, and today (October 3, 2018) marks its anniversary with a picket at the Department of Health Head Office in Pretoria.

South Africa is faced with serious challenges in the health sector, workplaces and social security. This picket couldn’t have come at the right time as South Africa faces serious corruption and neglect of social security issues.

In the past year, they have experienced increase in workplace injuries and deaths particularly in the mining sector; the health sector has been experiencing lack of resources both human and financial plunging the sector deeper into crisis while serious allegations of corruption in the sector have been reported and to some extent proven. In the month of August, they saw the death of workers who were trying to extinguish fire in a non compliant building, which should never have been occupied in the first place, one death is one too many.

In this regards, COSATU fully supports initiative fighting a just struggle for the working class and the poor. We stand as one with the WFTU in the demands for:

a) Overhaul the infrastructure to improve health and safety standards of health care establishments.

b) Fill all funded vacant posts to respond to staffing needs and address staff shortages.

c) Improve laundry services to restore dignity of health care users and adhere to infection, prevention and control principles.

d) Centralise pharmaceutical services to ensure availability of medicines and supplies.

e) Fill all Managers’ posts to foster accountability and responsibility over the provision of health care.

f) Increase the number of Emergency Service Vehicles and maintain roadworthiness of available emergency vehicles.

g) Invest in skilled workforce to capacitate health care personnel with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.

h) Improve information management systems in all health establishments.

i) Implement relevant Quality Management Systems in order to reduce laboratory tests expenditure.

j) Total integration of Community Health Workers into the Public health system.

k) Establishment and implementation of good Governance practices across the Sector.

l) Efficient integration of Mental Health Services at Primary level with support from specialized Institutions.

m) Integration of NHLS in to the Department of Health.

n) The NHLS Board & Management adopt good Governance practices in the running of the entity.

o) NHLS to stop prosecuting NEHAWU shop stewards and trying to weaken the union.

p) NHLS to immediately stop unilateral restructuring and assisting Capital in sabotaging the NHI.

NUPENG, WFTU, COSATO, NEHAWU, others are pleased with the picket as it validates the COSATU agenda and demand for comprehensive social security, NHI, ending violence in the work place as well accountability of employers in ensuring health and safety in the workplace.

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