Mr Richard Kofi Jordan, the General Secretary of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG), says members of the Association will embark on a strike to compel the Labour Department to release their Collective Bargaining Certificate.
He said the MOWAG had a Collective Bargaining Certificate, which was issued in 2019, but was later withdrawn under the pretext that it was wrongly issued when the Association embarked on a strike action.
“On what basis was the bargaining certificate issued, why was the certificate taken from us when we went on strike. Even taking away the certificate does not stop us from striking….”
Mr Jordan said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga on the side-lines of the launch of the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers Union.
Asked what they intended to do if their bargaining certificate was not issued, the General Secretary said: “When we lock all mortuaries….we will see whether they will issue the certificate or not.”
“We are preparing for a very serious action, you will hear from us very soon,” he told the GNA.
He said the certificate gave them the right to bargain with the employer, adding: “That right was taken away from us illegally…”
Mr Jordan said the MOWAG recently had discussions with the Labour Department to have the certificate released but there seem to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
“Even though the Association was not interested in strike actions, it seemed to be the only language employers appreciate,” he said.
Mr Jordan disclosed that the Association had lost 16 members within one year, saying: “Between December 2020 and now, we have lost 16 of our members”.
“This is the first time in the history of this country that many mortuary workers have died within a period of one year. We don’t even know what killed all of them, and this is a bother to us all,” he said.
The General Secretary expressed regret over the neglect of the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the mortuary attendants, whom, he said, were exposed to all forms of diseases at the mortuaries.
He said members of the MOWAG had been taken for granted for far too long in terms of their conditions of service and were relegated to the background in the fight against COVID-19, adding: “We need PPE at all times.”