The nationwide industrial action is expected to last at least until Friday and could affect patients living with conditions such as cancer and HIV.
Workers from the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) will embark on a national strike on Wednesday after last-minute wage negotiations stalled.
NHLS managers met officials from the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA), representing laboratory workers, on Monday in an attempt to thwart nationwide industrial action. Although the NHLS and unions agreed on a 7.3% wage increase, they could not agree on workers’ benefits such as a housing allowance, medical aid and uniform allowance.
Both Nehawu and the PSA told Bhekisisa that they will strike from Wednesday after negotiations deadlocked. “They are offering us 7.3%, but with no added benefits like housing and medical aid. So we are still in dispute. The strike is [starting] tomor