Workers under the aegis of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) working in the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have begun a 7-day warning strike to press home their demands.
The strike, according to a statement by the union’s Vice Chairman, Ejor Mike, “continues till further notice”.
He said the strike was called to press for payment of promotion arrears, upward review of job-specific allowance In line with minimum wage; training, delayed financial claims by staff, working environment, severance allowances, staff busses and discriminatory payment of COVID-19 palliatives.
The statement reads: “The union is demanding for the payment of promotion arrears for 2018 and 2019 promotions owed their members (NAFDAC staff).
“More worrisome is that 2020 promoted staff will soon (also) join the queue. This request has lingered for too long hence the strike action.
“Upward Review of Job Specific Allowance In Line With Minimum Wage: Job-Specific Allowance paid to staff of NAFDAC has not been reviewed for the past 10 years or so. Usually, every allowance increases correspondingly with an increase in salary. But unfortunately, this has not been so with regard to the Job Specific Allowance. The Union is, therefore, demanding a review of the said Job Specific Allowance in line with the current National Minimum Rate.
“Training: The Management of NAFDAC hides under COVID-19 to avoid training of staff, despite the fact that training has resumed in other MDAs. The Union demands immediate resumption of training for their members.
“Complaint on Delayed Financial Claims by Staff: The Union is aimed at the rate at which financial claims by staff are delayed without reasons given for non-payment not even to communicate the affected staff. The Union demands the immediate payment of all pending financial claims by their members.
“Working Environment: The Union raised concerns on the not so conducive working environment in some of our offices and the non-equipping of the driver’s office particularly in Isolo, Lagos where drivers spend their personal money to put the office in good working condition. For instance, the situation where members of staff procure fans for office used by them was viewed as not normal and no longer acceptable.
“Severance Allowance: The Union frowns at the suspension of Severance Allowance being paid to retirees despite the fact that this allowance has been approved by NAFDAC Governing Council and is contained on the Condition of Service for NAFDAC staff. The Union Leadership is demanding the immediate resumption of payment of this allowance to deserving beneficiaries.
“Staff Buses: The Union is also demanding the purchase of staff busses for their members to alleviate the hardship associated with transportation to work.
“The Union particularly frowns at the poor conditions of staff buses used by staff and in some cases, some routes where staff life do not have buses. It is worthy of note, to state here that, the NAFDAC Management is more concerned with the procurement of Hilux Vehicles, as the Management recently purchased well over 50 Hilux Vehicles.
“There was this particular incident where members were trapped in the staff as the doors refused to open. Staff had to get off the bus through the booth.
“Discriminatory Payment of COVID-19 Palliative: The Union also frowns at the discriminatory payment of COVID-19 Palliative (allowance) by percentage as used by NAFDAC and or the non -payment of some staff. Meanwhile, in other sister agencies and MDAs, other better modalities were adopted in the payment.
“The Union is demanding that the Management should borrow a leaf from other agencies of government on the modalities used in paying their staff who performed various frontline and or essential services.”
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