Sanitation workers under the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) have issued a one-week ultimatum to the assembly to pay them all allowances due them or risk a strike and demonstration.
Failure to meet their demands may result in a strike and demonstration as a means to compel the authorities to address their concerns.
The sanitation workers, who are primarily contract staff, perform various tasks such as weeding specific areas within the metropolis, cleaning gutters, and maintaining cleanliness in the city. The non-payment of their essential allowances has become a significant cause for concern.
According to the workers, they have experienced months of non-payment, which has created a worrying situation for them.
“We have realized that after working if we don’t prompt authorities at the end of the month, we are not paid. We have approached the Mayor but the matter has still not been resolved. When we deduct our transportation cost from what we are paid at the end of the month, it is not enough and even that amount is not being paid.
“We are thus calling on them to ensure we are paid all our two months arrears since we are going through difficulties, “Abu Eliasu, the leader of the sanitation workers at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly stated in an interview with Citi News.
Abu Eliasu added that following their recent agitations, the authorities have agreed to pay one month out of the two months’ arrears they are owed.
However, the workers are not satisfied with the arrangement and continue to demand the full amount. They are also requesting a roadmap for resolving this issue.
“After engaging the authorities, they said they have paid one-month arrears out of the two months owed us. We are not satisfied with this decision. We have given the authorities one week to address our concerns or we will embark on strike and demonstration for them to attach seriousness to our concerns”.
The Metro Environmental Health Officer, Yaw Ofori, in an interview with Citi News, says the assembly is making frantic efforts to improve their working conditions to avoid the need for a strike or demonstration.
“Last year, they decided to embark on a demonstration or strike but we managed to talk to them and everything was put to an end. As for the current strike they have threatened to embark on, I don’t know much about it. Because of what happened last year, I was able to have a meeting with authorities and it was approved for them to receive allowances above the minimum wage which is GHC550, so they don’t have any audacity to go on any strike. The point is, the allowance is not coming consistently as they expected.
“They were expecting to receive it at the end of every month. Sometimes they may have arrears of two months but they would be paid. They don’t have any backlog of about a year or something like that. It is not even more than three months. Currently, they are owed about two months’ arrears.
“As I am speaking to you, one month has already been paid. I organize meetings with them and tell them that if anything at all and there are arrears, the assembly will pay so they should not have in their minds to embark on a demonstration, it is not the best way to address the issue”.