CLOGSAG Strike Fails To Have Effect

CLOGSAGGovernment business is ongoing, despite a week-old strike by the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG).

A visit by The Ghanaian Times to the Ministries in Accra yesterday showed that the situation had improved as business activities were ongoing in all the ministries, departments and agencies with most staff at post.

Places visited were the Passport Office at the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Registrar General’s Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and Ministry of Employment.

Workers were busy at work while visitors were doing their normal business. Some of the workers, who pleaded anonymity, said the call for strike was not done in a concerted approach to attract the necessary impact.

A worker at the Ministry of Health contended that he had not been affected by the strike because he belongs to the Health Services Workers Union.

Another staff at the same ministry said he would look bad before his superior officer if he failed to report to work when his services were needed.

A worker of Ministry of Food and Agriculture said his work would still be waiting on his desk if he had joined in the strike.
“I believe our executives should continue with the dialogue while we remain at work,” he said.

A lady at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development who was obviously fuming with anger said the executives failed to explain things to them to understand the issue at stake.

“We were working only for us to be issued with the instructions that we should stop work and embark on strike,” he said
The lady said she contributed an average of GH¢20.00 to CLOGSAG, “however the association does nothing for us when we go on retirement or we are bereaved”.

She said CLOGSAG was long in existence before other associations were formed, “but take a cursory look around and you will see how other associations, are progressing under sound leadership”.

“I must be frank with you, some of us are not on strike, but I can say, it was the CLOGSAG executives who are on strike,” she said.
Notwithstanding the differences, Samuel Nii Clottey Collison, General Secretary of the Accra Regional CLOGSAG was of the view that the strike is having the necessary impact on government business.

He said the strike was legal and thus, workers need not fear for their job security. Giving a background on why he believed the strike is legal, he said CLOGSAG submitted itself to mediation as part of dispute settlement as required under the labour law.

He said the National Labour Commission (NLC), accordingly invited the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and CLOGSAG to submit to voluntary arbitration upon the failure of the mediation process.

Mr. Collision said the FWSC refused to submit itself to arbitration, which compelled CLOGSAG to invoke Section 159 of the Labour Act, by serving notice of a legal strike on both the FWSC and the NLC.

He said the notice was served on both parties on September 20, 2013 to inform them that the strike would take effect from October 14, 2013, explaining “it was 23 clear days even though the law stipulates a seven-day notice”.

Mr. Collison explained though, that by that process, CLOSAG had rigidly complied with the law by giving the appropriate statutory notice of its intention to go on strike saying, “the statutory period expired and opened the way for members of the association to embark on its strike within the law”.

CLOGSAG which constitutes about 70 per cent of government workforce embarked on the strike on October 14, to demand for the payment of its outstanding premium under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).  By Lawrence Markwei 

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