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Striking nurses not backing down

Striking nurses not backing down
Head of the Unity Workers’ Union (UWU), Caswell Franklyn - FP

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Far from backing down, nurses who are staging industrial action will be ramping up their efforts, says Head of the Unity Workers’ Union (UWU), Senator Caswell Franklyn.

Additionally, they have sought legal advice, saying money was deducted after it was already lodged in their bank accounts, and some of those whose salaries were docked, had not been paid by Government for several months.

Nurses have been on strike protesting poor work conditions, including lack of equipment, non-payment of salaries, appointments and concerns over Government’s attempt to implement COVID-19 safe zone in the healthcare sector.

Franklyn said they would be ramping up industrial action on Monday.

When the protest action commenced, the trade union leader warned it could go on for some time.

“The nurses are prepared for the long haul simply because they were being mistreated for too long, and right now the nurses are prepared to let the Government bring in Cubans and Ghanaians or whoever because they are fed up and they are not taking this abuse any longer,” he said earlier this week.

Franklyn addressed this and other issues during a virtual media conference on Saturday, including statements made by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley which condemned the action.

The Opposition Senator said the move was not political and he had no consultation with Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley.

“Even though they took off money from people’s accounts, more will strike and more will come on Monday, and this is not political, because to this day I have not mentioned a word of this to Bishop Atherley. He does not know what I am doing because he is not a part of Unity Workers’ Union,” he pointed out.

“I am not going to say what our plans are, but there are plans to ramp things up come Monday. As a matter of fact, yesterday I got calls from persons who are not members of the union telling me that they want to join because they want to join the strike from Monday,” said Franklyn.

The strike has been felt across the healthcare sector, with particular negative impact on the polyclinics and the National Vaccination Programme.

Franklyn said Government still had time to intervene and prevent further deterioration of the situation. (SAT)