The Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MoWAG) is unhappy with what it describes as political interference in their negotiations for better conditions of service.
The group is currently in talks with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations for an upward adjustment in their salaries as well as provision of materials to make their work further effective.
Although MoWAG is in talks with the relevant authorities, they have left public mortuaries deserted.
In an interview with Richard Kofi Jordan who is the General Secretary of the group, he indicated that there were serious political interference in their negotiations .
Richard Jordan believes that the Ministry of Health is relaxed on meeting the demands of the Mortuary workers because he has been accused of being politically motivated.
Richard Jordan has however rubbished the claims of being compromised by any political party.
”There is serious high level ground of conspiracy, politically to interfere in the business of MoWAG and that is not good for the country.
Richard Jordan further made reference to Ghana’s Labour Act 2003 which says that the employer should not meddle in the affairs of the union of its employees.
[The Labour Act] states clearly that the employer does not have any business whatsoever to dwell into the internal affairs of any labour union in Ghana. The law is very clear.
Again, Richard Kofi Jordan indicated that labour unions have the right to appoint their own administrative representatives and therefore it is a clear violation of the labour law for any employer to intrude in the day-to-day activities of the union.
“Even if you come to section 81 of the same act, it states clearly that the union has the right to organize its own administration, the right to select its own leaders and appoint its own representatives. You employer do not have the right at all. To even finance the activities of the union is a crime.
According to him, the actions of the Ministry of Health “amount to total interference” and thus the ministry should rather be the institution whose core mandate is to protect and spearhead legality but not to indulge in illegal acts.
“What they are doing amount to total interference which we think is not good for the country going forward, is not good anywhere. They need to set the pace. The ministry should be spearheading legality and make sure they align with law so that they’ll have the legal, moral right to chastise or sue anybody who’s gone contrary to the law and they are rather braking the law.” He noted.
The Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana, MoWAG in April complained about government’s lackadaisical approach in addressing their concerns.
The workers declared indefinite strike action on 5 March 2019 but returned to work after three days after the National Labour Commission (NLC) invited them to the round-table to find ways of addressing their grievances, which included the lack of maintenance of mortuary facilities, denial of their mandated annual leave, and the lack of protective clothing, among others.
Story by: Nicholas Brown|Universnewsroom.com