Effective today [Tuesday] workers in public mortuaries in the country will lay down their tools in protest against the government.
According to the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) the protest will be the beginning of an indefinite strike as a last resort to compel the Ministry of Health to among other things, review their salaries and working conditions.
It comes three months after mortuary workers in the country threatened to embark on a similar strike over poor working conditions and low salaries.
The General Secretary of MOWAG, Richard Kofi Jordan, told Citi News his members would only return upon a considerable deal from the Ministry of Health and Labour Union.
“We talk of poor sanitation, maintenance of the various facilities which has been neglected by authorities, working more than 24 hours which is against the labour laws . Our rights have been violated, some of us work on holidays when we are supposed to rest. We are not being given holiday allowances.”
He said the Ministry’s failure to provide them with a counterproposal to their requests and a date for negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, pushed them to take the decision.
“We struggle to get protective clothing. Even with salary rise, we are at the bottom of the structure. So on Tuesday, it is going to be an indefinite strike. We are not coming to the mortuary until something concrete and positive is communicated to us,” he noted.
The workers indicated that they are overworked and not paid for their overtime services.
Among their complaints, the association said most of the workers were employed as casual workers, and their jobs are not guaranteed.
“Most of us have been employed as casual and temporary workers in violation of section 74 and 75 of Act 651, which does not guarantee job security especially in the environment in which they work.”
“In terms of remuneration, it is unfortunate to state that Mortuary workers are treated as most unrecognized in the sector and for that matter, least paid on the salary structure of Ministry of Health with no single allowance”, they said.
Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has said that the Ministry of Health and mortuary workers will be engaged to find a lasting solution to the impasse. The Commission’s Executive Secretary, Ofosu Asamoah told Citi News that “if they negotiate and they hit the rock and they are unable to settle it, for any of the party intending to engage in a strike can write to the commission and give us the notice of intended strike. Having heard from their grapevine, we are not going to sit down and wait for them, we are going to take steps immediately.
By: citinewsroom.com | Ghana