Mortuary workers’ strike illegal – Fair Wages Commission

The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has described the ongoing strike by mortuary workers in the country as illegal.

The Commission said the group failed to go through the approved procedure before declaring the industrial action.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Dr. Edward Kwapong told Citi News that the group should have first informed the Commission of their challenges and enable negotiations to commence but it did not do so.

Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) declared an indefinite strike for its members on Tuesday, March 4, 2019, over their low salaries and poor working conditions.

The association said the Ministry of Health‘s failure to provide its members with counter proposal to their requests and a date for negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, pushed them to take the decision.

Several bereaved families have been left stranded at public mortuaries across the country, as they can’t retrieve the bodies of their loved ones for burial or deposit new bodies due to the action.

Dr. Edward Kwapong, said the group will suffer dire consequences for its actions.
“The procedure has not been followed because if it is a matter of negotiation, then they should have come to us to negotiate and if there will be a disagreement we will refer the matter to the National Labour Commission who will escalate it to the ministerial level. If you don’t follow the procedure and your strike is illegal, you will not be paid for the period of the strike action.”

But the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana insists that it observed the right procedure before embarking on the strike.
The General Secretary of the group, Richard Jordan, in a Citi News interview said the strike action will continue unabated as they informed their employers and the National Labour Commission as prescribed by the labour law.

Fair Wages and Salaries Commission don’t have the right to describe the strike as illegal. We have a labour law and it says that for us to embark on strike, we should inform the Natinal Labour Commission and our employer. We are not supposed to inform the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, they are not our employer. The strike will continue as planned.

By: Jonas Nyabor | | Ghana