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Workers building the New US embassy on strike

Fri, 5 May 2006 Source: jfm

Construction workers building the new American embassy in Accra have embarked on a sit down strike in demand for better salaries.

The workers today staged a demonstration at their Cantonments site demanding at least a 50 per cent upward adjustment of their monthly salary from their employer, BL Harbert Ghana Limited, an American construction company based in Accra.

Each employee currently receives a monthly basic salary of 450,000 cedis (about $50), which according to the workers is a pittance.

Attempts to negotiate with their employers have fallen through, necessitating the workers? demonstration this morning. The workers are currently locked out.

The over seven hundred and fifty construction workers are crying foul for what they describe as labour exploitation and abuse.

According to the aggrieved workers, BL Harbert Ghana Limited contracted them for a two-year period to build the new American embassy.

They contend that the terms of the contract have not changed for the past 15 months they?ve been in service, even though the cost of living has increased tremendously over the period.

The workers say attempts to get things changed have failed because the managers have refused to negotiate with them.

They also allege that their managers maltreat them. But what resulted in the demonstration today is a redundancy package of 590 thousand cedis each handed to them last week.

The workers have rejected the package and work at the construction site has come to a halt since.

They therefore embarked on the demonstration today to back their demand for better conditions. Peter Adzika is the local Chairman of the Workers Union.

Mr. Adzika told JOYNEWS that the workers would not back out of their demands and the strike would continue until they are heard.

Armed Police personnel are guarding the construction site whilst the managers are locked inside the construction grounds. Attempts to get response from the managers proved futile.

Source: jfm