The Labour union also threatened to shut down the hospital if action is not taken within one week as the Congress’ National Secretariat had directed all the eleven chapters in the south-east and south-south zones to proceed to Enugu for a joint action at the hospital. They vowed to picket to hospital.
State chairman of NLC, Comrade Nwobodo Virginius C who addressed newsmen at the NLC, state headquarter Thursday, on the escalating industrial disharmony in the hospital culminating in the alleged arrest and detention of labour leaders in the state on the order of the medical director said that he (Onwukwe) had unilaterally suspended trade union activities in the hospital and imposed sanctions on the union leaders including interdiction, suspension and half-salaries in clear violation of the relevant rules.
Comr. Nwobodo alleged that all entreaties made by the organized labour in the state to resolve the matter through dialogue and negotiation was rebuffed by the Dr. Onwukwe and instead hired thugs to harass and beat up Labour leaders in the hospital.
Nwobodo had accused Onwukwe of running the hospital like a personal enterprise and “even hired thugs to harass and beat up Labour leaders in the hospital”, adding that all entreaties by the Organised Labour in the state to resolve the matter through dialogue and negotiations had been totally rebuffed.
"Instead of dialogue with NLC, he took the option of cheap blackmail and writing a spurious petition to the security agencies in the state. Dr. Onwukwe is highly vindictive, callous, adamant, intransigent, highhanded and averse to peace and rule of law.
"His continued stay in the hospital is inimical to progress and meaningful development and counterproductive. We strongly condemn his anti labour activities and call for his immediate removal to restore law and order in the hospita"”, said NLC Chairman.
Reacting, some workers of the Hospital under the aegis of the Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria (APNON), lambasted the state NLC chairman, accusing him of working hard to destabilize and instigating crisis in the hospital.
In a statement signed by all the executive members, including their chairman and the secretary, Maduka Chibuzo, Iroegbulem Emeka, respectively, wondered where the NLC chairman, who is a non-staff of the hospital, derived such mandate to call for the removal of the CMD.
"We, therefore, want to state categorically that we are at peace with our Medical Director and that we do not have any problem with him", the workers maintained