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General News of Saturday, 1 June 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

‘Mortuary workers’ strike just in bad faith’ – Fair Wages

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has accused the Mortuary Workers’ Association of Ghana’ s (MOWAG) of acting in bad faith following their decision to lay down their tools.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Edward Kwapong says although plans are advanced in addressing the concerns of the striking workers, their posture from the fallout of the negotiating process is worrying.

Despite the government’s assurances, the association insists that the strike will continue until their demands are met.

But, Dr. Kwapong who spoke on Eyewitness News said, the group’s actions smack of sabotage.

“We have always indicated to them that we are ready to engage them. We have studied the proposals they have sent to us and have taken it to the Ministries that are concerned. We don’t have a problem with them, our doors are opened and they are trying to shun it."

"That is where we are now. We don’t know what their motives are because it is very strange that we meet with you, agree and listen to all your issues and the ministry of health assures you that we will resolve all these matters.”

“As we speak, financial clearance has been granted the Ministry of Health to regularize the recruitment 280 mortuary attendants across the country and they have been told. We have also assured them of looking at other demands in the context within the agreed rate as per the public service joint party negotiation committee. We can’t understand why they are on strike because we are talking – unless someone is in for some mischief. ”

The Ministry of Health has also said the demands of the striking mortuary workers are too outrageous for them to meet.

According to the ministry, the workers are among other things requesting an ‘abnormal’ 3000 percent increase in their monthly salaries which cannot be given at the moment.



Effect of strike

The mortuary workers’ strike has created discomfort for families seeking bodies for burial. They say they will not call off their strike until their demands are met.

At the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital mortuary, people who came to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones on Friday were turned away.

The mortuary attendants under the umbrella name, Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana, MOWAG, have been battling with the government to increase their salaries and improve their conditions of service for several months now.

This is the second time Mortuary workers are embarking on a strike after a similar one on March 4, 2019.

However, negotiations between the Association and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission appear to have broken down, forcing the workers to lay down their tools again.