Labour court upholds Nehawu strike interdict following appeal

The Department of Health says it welcomes the judgement that interdicts with immediate effect the strike action by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members and employees who are employed in an essential service.

“We believe this judgement will bring some form of stability in health facilities across the country,” the statement read on Monday.

This comes after Nehawu has been on industrial action since 6 March 2023 due to the collapsed wage negotiations.

According to the union, the strike was also driven by the “continuous implementation of austerity measures and the aggressive attack on collective bargaining by the government”.

The workers are demanding a 10% salary increase, while government has offered 4.7%.

Last week, Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, confirmed that preliminary figures show that four people are believed to have lost their lives “in a manner that could be directly attributed to the strike”.

The Minister continues to observe the situation and the impact of the strike on healthcare services throughout the country.

In some hospitals, protesters closed the main entrance of the health facility with burning tyres, preventing patients and families from entering the establishment.

The department instituted a court interdict last week against Nehawu to stop their members from obstructing the rendering of health services to patients, which the union appealed.

“This is a victory for the innocent, vulnerable and un-unionised patients who have suffered the consequences of the disruptive and violent strike action,” said the department.

“We also believe Nehawu will implement the judgement and inform its members to return to work as soon as possible.”

– SAnews