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Monday,November 19,2018 12:12 PM

Court dismisses doctors strike case

By Barbra Kabahumuza, Michael Odeng

Added 9th January 2018 10:24 AM

The New Vision learnt that both parties consented to the withdrawal of the case because negotiations to call off the strike had already been concluded.

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The New Vision learnt that both parties consented to the withdrawal of the case because negotiations to call off the strike had already been concluded.

PIC: Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of the Uganda Medical Association. The trade unions contend that the actions of Obuku of advocating for the wellfare of health workers are illegal. (File photo)

KAMPALA - The High court has dismissed an application, seeking to stop negotiations between Uganda Medical Association (UMA) and the Government in respect to wellfare of health workers in Uganda.

On Monday, Justice Stephen Musota, the head of the civil division of the High court  withdrew the application of temporary injunction on grounds that it has been over taken by events.

The New Vision learnt that both parties consented to the withdrawal of the case because negotiations to call off the strike had already been concluded.

A temporary injunction is a court order prohibiting an action by a party to file a lawsuit until there has been a trial or other court action.

“This application for temporary injunction is withdrawn by plea of court and I will not make any order as to costs," he ruled.
 
The labour unions, which include National Organisation of Trade Unions Uganda Medical Workers Union and Uganda Nurses and Midwives will now pursue the main suit that will look into the legality of the actions of UMA president Dr Ekwaro Ebuku and Workers MP Dr Sam Lyomoki.

In the main suit that was filed in November last year, the labour unions say they are the only bodies mandated to hold negotiations with the Government on behalf of health workers.

They are, therefore, seeking orders, restraining Ebuku and Lyomoki, from representing the interests of public health workers.

“It is illegal for the duo to submit proposals concerning terms and conditions of workers in Uganda to the Government and engaging doctors in strike because they have no mandate to do so,” labour unions contend.

The unions also want the doctors to pay damages arising from announcing the strike without following the prescribed legal procedures.

The unions say UMA is not a registered trade union and, therefore has no mandate to call for a doctors’ strike.

“The association cannot enjoy rights, immunities and privileges provided under the Labour Unions Act and any act done in furtherance of any labour dispute is outside the law,” the unions contend.

According to court documents, the unions say they are the only organisations mandated to hold negotiations on behalf of health workers.

The unions want court to issue permanent orders, barring any other persons from purporting to represent health workers.

“The ongoing negotiations between the Governmentand the respondents in respect to the wellfare of health workers are illegal because they do not possess requisite legal mandate to represent doctors,” the unions contend.

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