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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Mortuary workers declare nationwide strike effective October 1

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The Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) will embark on an indefinite strike from Thursday, October 1, over what they describe as unresolved grievances.

The Association’s General Secretary, Richard Kofi Jordan in a signed statement on Sunday said members of MOWAG have had to work in intolerable conditions including constantly inhaling dangerous and cancer-causing chemical, formaldehyde.

This, he said, MOWAG has engaged its employer, Health Ministry but little has been done to resolve the ‘long-standing’ issue.

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He revealed that, in previous engagements with the MoH, pledges were made to implement certain simple changes in the working conditions of the members of MOWAG, but they have not seen anything to date.

This, he said this situation “points to the great possibility that the government does not intend to meet and resolve the MOWAG’s crying and life-threatening problems and grievances.”

“Having become tired of its inactions and being aware that the government appears to be nowhere near taking a serious look at the grievances of the MOWAG, pursuant to resolving same problems, the MOWAG, under article 159 of the Labour Law (Act 651) has now initiated this industrial strike action till its demands are met.”

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Members of MOWAG also highlighted some six issues they wants addressed before, the industrial action is called off including;

  • Unresolved issues of salaries, allowances, job placements and promotions (Conditions of Service).
  • 50% bonus promised by the President to motivate front-line health workers but denied Mortuary Workers without explanation even after petitioning the President.
  • Mechanisation and Employment of mortuary workers as long ago agreed by the MOH and the MOWAG.
  • Non-provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to guarantee safety against the pandemic and other diseases that are confronted on daily basis at the mortuaries despite all the assurances from the government.
  • Victimization and intimidation of some members of the MOWAG by some institutional heads contrary to the spirit behind the Labour Act, 2003 (Act, 651).
  • Labour Department’s refusal and failure to respect and obey the directive of the National Labour Commission after the Commission directed, over a year ago that, it does not support or condone illegality as in the case of the unlawful withdrawal of the MOWAG’s Collective Bargaining Certificate (CBC), and therefore tasked the Department to restore same.
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