Union drags government to court

South Africa’s healthcare workers continue to serve on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. But now there's another battle with personal protective equipment. Nehawu has approached the courts to force government to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) is taking the Health Department to court on Tuesday.

That's to force government to provide healthcare workers with personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Frontline workers like nurses are at great risk of contracting COVID-19.

READ: Nehawu fights for protective equipment 

Several healthcare workers all over the country have tested positive for the disease.

Nurses and unions say government could be destroying the very frontline so essential in the battle to flatten the curve.

Cosatu, Nehawu, Denosa and Saepu have all expressed their support for the decision to take the department to court to force them to comply with the amended Occupational Health and Safety Act during the COVID-19 crisis.

READ: Nehawu calls for protection for workers from COVID-19

They also condemned the misleading statements by the Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize that claim that he has met with the unions and the federation to discuss this matter.

"These lies have angered workers and poisoned the relations between the minister, department and unions," a statement by Cosatu read.

The Health Department is promising personal protective equipment is likely to arrive early this week.

Some nurses have opted to buy raincoats in the desperate hope this will provide sufficient protection while they wait for crucial gear.

- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

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The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.

Source
eNCA

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