Disruption of the health sector looms this week as the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) plans to take its members at the National Health Laboratories Service (NHLS) on an indefinite strike over wages from Wednesday. Management will be working with provincial health departments to minimise the effect of the strike on health laboratories. The NHLS employs about 7,000 people and is responsible for more than 80% of the country’s pathology diagnostic services, which could be thrown into disarray as a result of the strike. The union and management deadlocked last week over a wage increase, with NHLS offering a 3% pay rise and Nehawu demanding a 7.3% hike. A strike by the 143,000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) in the engineering sector could also be on the cards and will be weighed up by the union’s central committee which meets for the duration of the week to discuss this and other issues. The union is busy consulting workers as to ...

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