Nehawu to appeal court ruling prohibiting strike at NHLS

The court on Monday ruled in the NHLS’ favour and declared their strike unlawful.

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) on Wednesday said that it would appeal a Labour Court ruling that interdicted a strike by workers at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS).

The court on Monday ruled in the NHLS’ favour and declared their strike unlawful.

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

Nehawu members were encouraged to picket outside the NHLS’ offices during their lunch hour.

The union said that it would approach the Labour Court with an appeal because the court did not give reasons for its judgment.

Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba said that they believed the ruling was unfair, especially because their matter was before the Essential Services Committee.

“The strike should have continued until the employer decides whether they’re essential workers or not,” Xaba said.

Xaba said that the ruling was an attempt to disregard their right to strike.

“This is not the first time that the NHLS has behaved in this manner. This has happened in previous years when we wanted to exercise our democratic rights to strike, and they would come with underhanded tactics,” he said.

Xaba said that they still planned on going ahead with their planned national day of action next Thursday.

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