‘No-work-no-pay principle will apply to striking Nehawu members’

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu)’s essential service workers who are on strike, that the no-work-no-pay principle will apply.

He was addressing the National Assembly in the Good Hope Chamber in Parliament during his oral reply session for the first quarter.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip Narend Singh wanted to know how police would intervene to curb the violent nature of the strike.

There have been reports that the Nehawu strike is putting the lives of patients at some public health facilities at risk.

Ramaphosa says while workers have freedom of association and to protest, it should be done peacefully.

“The protest that are under way, yes, are well understood. They can express their dissatisfaction, but even as they do so, staying way from work, they must also know that it is on the basis of no-work-no-pay. So, if you don’t go to work, you will not be paid. And if you protest, you must protest very, very peacefully, and we will not allow the lives of our people to be put in danger. And as you correctly said, honourable (Narend) Singh, it is the lives of our people that we have got to safeguard.”

VIDEO: Cyril Ramaphosa’s quarterly Q&A session

Ramaphosa says government will not accept the violent nature of the Nehawu strike at various health facilities.

He has called on the essential service health workers to return to work and also not to intimidate those on duty.

“During this strike process, we have seen many acts that are really concerning where people (who) are sick and where workers who are in ICU units are being pulled out. That is not acceptable. And we should never accept behaviour like that. And we expect our health workers, yes, to protest, but at the same time, put the lives of our people ahead of anything else. So, we expect that as we move forward, these messages will be heeded,” says Ramaphosa.

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