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Nehawu: Today's NHLS picket a warm-up for next week's protests

The union’s members staged a protest outside the gates of the NHLS, where COVID-19 cases are processed.

Nehawu members protest outside the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) on 21 August 2020. Picture: Nehawu/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) called Friday’s picket at the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) a warmup to a stay-away next Tuesday, and then a strike on Friday.

The union’s members staged a protest outside the gates of the NHLS, where COVID-19 cases are processed.

Nehawu is protesting over a number of issues, including lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers and salary-related matters.

Nehawu also hit out at Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, calling him irresponsible for not implementing long-standing wage agreements. The union’s frontline workers are demanding a 15% wage increase.

Nehawu deputy general secretary December Mavuso said that they were only asking to be treated fairly.

“Yesterday [Thursday], some people were saying our action is irresponsible, including the Minister of Health himself, instead of finding solutions. We have responded to say, in fact, it is him who’s irresponsible with the management of the NHLS,” Mavuso said.

Government and Nehawu were expected to meet with an arbiter next week to try to reach an agreement.

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