Mortuary workers deserve a listening ear

Members of Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) during the week suspended an indefinite strike action they had embarked upon to press home their demand for better conditions of service.

They suspended the strike action following a meeting with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the National Labour Commission (NCC) until March 13, 2019, when a decision would be made on their concerns.

The MOWAG had raised as part of their concerns, salary increment and improvement in their working conditions.

They had argued among others that many of the mortuary workers have been denied their annual leave and work more than the required eight hours including Saturdays and Sundays, in violation of Section 33, At 651 of the Labour Act.

According to them, most of members are employed as casual and temporary workers which does not guarantee job security, especially in the environment in which they work.

In reference to renumeration, they said, mortuary workers are the least paid on the structure of the Ministry of Health, with no single allowance.

They further claimed that many mortuary facilities were understaffed and have not seen maintenance for many years.

Indeed, if the claims by members of MOWAG are anything to go by, then we are of the view that someone must show interest in their concerns.

Fortunately, the FWSC and the NLC have met and dialogued with them as well as scheduled another meeting for Wednesday, March 13, 2019 for further discussions.

The Ghanaian Times welcomes the efforts by the various stakeholders discussing with the mortuary workers their concerns with the aim of resolving them.

The swift response with which the discussions were held leading to the suspension of the strike action is commendable and gives us hope that the issues would be resolved sooner than later.

MOWAG’s decision is also a huge relief for bereaved families who had relatives in the morgues and feared that the strike action would prevent them from having access to their relatives.

As is already known, the mortuary workers play very vital roles in keeping safe the dead people in the mortuary.  Without them one can imagine what would happen to dead bodies.

It is therefore, a deep sense of relief for us that the Ministry of Health, FWSC and the NLC met representative of the mortuary workers to dialogue with them to arrive at a common understanding.

The concerns raised by MOWAG are legitimate and needs urgent attention. It is our hope that the issues would be resolved, so they do not carry out their threat of shutting down the mortuaries.

We all know what it is to lose a loved one and the plans that go into organising a funeral and burial, no one wants such plans to be disrupted much less by a strike action by mortuary workers.

It is for these reasons that we think it is important for all of us to show interest in the concerns raised by the mortuary workers and endeavour to resolve them as quickly as possible.

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