International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) Network, a group of lawyers from several countries, is binding against the Nigerian government. The reason for this team-up is the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dealt with trade unions of the health sector and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
A letter was sent to Nigeria’s ministers, Chris Ngige and Osagie Ehanire, by the lawyers on September 24, 2021, which was stating the poor conditions of doctors and health workers in Nigeria.
They also accused the government of violating doctors’ strikes and not letting them express their fair demands. The demands which were related to the improvement of welfare.
Also read: Hospital staffs are on strike in Nigeria
Concerns by lawyers
The lawyers also convey issues of the failed implementation process of signed agreements from the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) by the government through the letter.
In starting Aug of 2021, many NARD members were part of the strike for the long unpaid salaries. They were going through dangerous working conditions in hospitals and low hazard pay.
Since a year ago of Covid 19 pandemic, many doctors have been left behind with unpaid salaries or half of their salaries.
The government also failed in taking the precautions for the health care workers against the covid-19 pandemic. They also lacked proper safety measures by not providing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. And due to this, many NARD members have lost their lives.
Are lawyers aiding Nigerian Doctors?
The lawyers also suggested healthcare workers across the nations to lay down their tools one time and protest for the poor conditions they are going through.
And as doctors and nurses from several countries such as Peru, Zimbabwe, United States, South Korea, etc. are on strike. So NARD members are left alone behind. However, according to the letter, the lawyers are in the with them for assisting collective actions. Just like in the way of Nigerian doctors. They stood up against the inadequate health facilities, poor working conditions with PPE kits, and unpaid salaries.
The signs of different MOUs dignify the implementations’ deadlines, including the due payment of the salary residency training fund.
Right to freedom
The judgement of the Industrial courts, which were ordering doctors to return back to their work failed to solve doctor’s concerns.
Under Nigerian law, the workers have complete authority to stand up against tyranny and convey a proper bargain.
On September 17, the National Industrial Court ordered the doctors to stop the strike and immediately return to work.
The court reviewed the harm of the strike on public health and forgot about the doctors’ concerns.
Resident doctors have been on strike for 53 days due to the unpaid payment. And with the ongoing COVID-19 increase in-country, the strike is also going on. This is the reason why many are in tension because this can be a significant loss resulting in the loss in a third-wave battle.
Currently, NARD is only demanding the COVID-19 allowances in the absence of death insurance on service.
Lat month meetings between the government, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and NARD were not able to resolve the issues of the striking doctors.
This group of lawyers is consist of 670 workers’ rights lawyers selected from 70 different countries. Which also includes some from Nigeria.
It is a Solidarity center, which is for the promotion of worker right’s worldwide.