Liberia: Health Workers Ends 'Stay Home Action'

Monrovia — The National Health Workers' Union of Liberia(NAHWUL) has suspended its sit-home-strike action against the Government of Liberia, and ordered all its members to return to work within 24 hours.

NAHWUL issued the ordered on Thursday at a news conference held at the union's national headquarters in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

NAHWUL STATED: "Therefore, upon the intervention of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the members and leaders of NAHWUL hereby suspend the sit-home-strike action as of today, and ask all healthcare workers to return to work within 24 hours in Monrovia and the counties seats and gradually reopen to the referral within 72 hours."

Speaking at a news conference, Deemi Dearzrua, the Assistant Secretary General of NAHWUL, said the decision to suspend the strike action and order all healthcare workers back to work was based on a memorandum of understanding reached between the union and the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Liberia to mitigate the situation. " The United Nations Resident Coordinator to Liberia and NAHWUL have been involved in series of discussion and have reached a consensus on the issues raised by the union(NAHWUL)," Dearzrua said.

He warned the government that the union's decision to suspend its strike action should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness. "The union wants to make it clear that to the Government of Liberia that this gesture should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness."

He added that the union will closely be observing in the weeks and months following the return of all healthcare workers as it relates to their relationships with line managers."

Dearzrua furthered warned that the union will explore other options available to meet their demands should there be any hostility towards their members. "The union will explore other options in respond should there be any hostility towards our members," he noted.

Dearzrua explained that the decision was reached based on a petition that was filed to the US Embassy, European Union and the United Nations Office near Monrovia.

He said based on the petition, the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Liberia, and other prominent people residing both in Liberia and abroad intervened in negotiating with the union to ease the situation.

Dearzrua further mentioned that despite the many rooms created for negotiation prior to the MoU with the UN, the government failed to credit the acount of health workers after three weeks of pronouncement about the USD2Million hazard benefit.

However, it can be recalled that on September 16, 2020, members of NAHWUL began a sit-home strike for hazard benefits, Increment in salary among other things.

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