General News Fri, 31 May 2019

Mortuary workers’ strike enters day three

The mortuary workers’ strike has entered its third day, creating discomfort for families seeking their bodies for burial this weekend.

At the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital mortuary, several persons who came to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones have already been turned away.

The mortuary attendants under the umbrella name, Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana, MOWAG, have been battling with the government to increase their salaries and improve their conditions of service for several months now.

The National Chairman of the association, Edward Mensah, said the strike will continue until their demands are met.

“Unless the government hears us, calls us and we understand and our people agree… [before] they will call the strike off,” he told Citi News.

“Maybe they should postpone their funeral or those kinds of things. We are not fighting with family but rather they should talk to the government to hear us out and then we all leave together.”

This is the second time Mortuary workers are embarking on a strike after a similar one on March 4, 2019.

That strike was however called off after three days following government’s assurances.

However, negotiations between the Association and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission appear to have broken down, forcing the workers to lay down their tools again.

During the three-day strike, several bereaved families were similarly left stranded at public mortuaries across the country; unable to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones for burial or deposit bodies.

Bereaved families stranded in Wa

Some bereaved families who went to the Upper West Regional hospital to retrieve their dead bodies were left stranded as staff manning the hospital morgue refused to attend to them due to the nationwide strike declared by their leadership.

Citi News’ Upper West regional correspondent, Latif Mahama who visited the morgue reported that although some of the mortuary workers turned up for work, they kept the morgue under lock and key in strict adherence to the strike.

He said about five dead bodies were billed to be released for burial at the regional hospital morgue but the morgue was under lock and key with three abled men guarding it.

“Bereaved families were not allowed access to the morgue. The main exit to the facility was also locked,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Osei Kuffour Afreh, in an earlier interview with Citi News said management at the facility met with the mortuary workers to convince them to rescind their strike action.

Source: citinewsroom.com
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