Nehawu: National strike is about protecting workers from COVID-19

Nehawu on Thursday said its health workers were risking their lives daily. The union said it decided on the protest to highlight the failure by government to provide members with PPE.

FILE: Nehawu members during a strike. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) on Thursday said that its protest action, which will begin on Friday, was about protecting its members from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nehawu said that its health workers were risking their lives daily. The union said that it had decided on the protest to highlight the failure by government to provide members with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Nehawu said that its over 235,000 members were expected to start picketing on Friday. And next week Friday, the union said that it would stay away from work at all public health facilities.

The strike could have a devastating impact on the health sector as nurses and doctors are essential in the fight against the pandemic.

Nehawu general secretary Zola Saphetha said that government was to blame.

"We’ve met many people, including civil society organisations. Even before the strike, you might go to hospital and not find anyone because our members are dying and others are in isolation," Saphetha said.

Government called the strike "irresponsible".

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