April 20, 2019 5:23 AM
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Accra’s day of strikes: Workers demand better pay

Accra’s day of strikes: Workers demand better pay

There have been a series of labour agitations in Accra Thursday morning with workers demanding better pay and working conditions.

Workers undertaking the Tema Port Expansion project have been demonstrating over how their appeals for an improvement in their conditions of service have been ignored.

This is the second time in months they are demonstrating and stalling work in the process.

According to the workers numbering close to 800, they have been asking for improvement in risk allowance, salaries and a promise of promotion; all of which have not been heeded to.

One worker told Adom FM’s Kwame Yankah that the company has been cheating them as the earlier agreement they had with Chinese Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) company, has been altered by a new company, Laine, who are handling the recruitment.

The construction worker said there was an agreed basic salary which was to be increased as the work progresses in phases but the reverse has been happening as their pay is gradually being reduced.

He added that for most of them, they were promised full-time employment after serving three months as casual workers but that has not been done as they are always given a new appointment letter at the end of every three months.

The workers say until their needs are attended to, they are not going to work.

According to the reporter, there have been a series of meetings between the leaders of the striking workers and Maritime and Dock Workers’ Union.

The workers were promised that their concerns have been tabled to be addressed by the Chinese Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), who are executing the project.

He said a series of meetings have been scheduled in the next couple of days by all stakeholders to iron out the issue.

Some of the striking Labadi Beach Hotel workers

In a related development, the workers of Labadi Beach Hotel have embarked on a sit-down strike over what they describe as poor salaries and conditions of service.

Chairman for the workers’ union at the hotel, Emmanuel Dartey told Adom News’ Emmanuella Ablah Aforkpah that all attempts to get these issues resolved have proved futile.

Mr Dartey said the union had presented its grievances to the management of the hotel earlier this year but nothing has been done.

He said they were directed by the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) to embark on a strike from today until their grievances are resolved.

Mr Dartey noted that the leadership of the workers faced victimisation whenever it was time for salary negotiations and were treated as enemies.

“Our General Manager, Michael Rathgeb walked out of a salary negotiation meeting with the workers and the ICU last night with everybody thinking he had gone to the washroom, only for us to be told he went through a back door and sat in his car and drove off,” Mr Dartey said.

He continued that “ICU executives, therefore, told us to start a strike today and also prevent the GM from entering the hotel this morning until he agrees to meet our demands of a 15.8 percent salary increment.

“The GM did not show up for work this morning and that is why we still went ahead with our strike and protest,” he said.

Meanwhile, some of the workers allege that about 90 percent of the workers at the hotel are casual workers and they earn as low as GHC300 without any other benefits and yet some of them have duties heavier than that of regular workers.



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