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Laboratory services compromised as Nehawu members stage stay-away

Thousands of workers downed tools and, as part of the strike, they flocked to human resource offices to apply for leave.

FILE: Workers affiliated to Nehawu were protesting against staff shortages and the lack of personal protective equipment among other issues. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said its members had stopped working at the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).

Workers were protesting against staff shortages and the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) among other issues.

The union said it was withdrawing labour in the middle of the pandemic in order to get results from government.

Health care services at the national laboratories were compromised as a result of the strike.

Thousands of workers downed tools and, as part of the strike, they flocked to human resource offices to apply for leave.

They were also expected to hold lunch hour pickets across the country.

The union’ Kaya Xaba said: “The strike comes after the management refused to implement a settlement agreement that was signed last August year that would have changed the salary levels of workers and bonuses.”

The strike came at the time when the country is fighting COVID-19 and allegations of looting of funds and corruption in the provision of PPE.

Friday’s protest was a dry run for the planned strike later, which is expected to see a total shutdown of health care services nation-wide.

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