By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
Dozens of relatives of bodies deposited at the Ho Teaching Hospital Mortuary on Wednesday morning were left in a state of confusion by the mortuary workers who asked them to carry away the corpses against Friday, May 3.
The relatives besieged the hospital from around 9am after management of the mortuary called them on phone inviting them to pick up their corpses in anticipation of their intended strike action on Thursday.
Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG) had in a press release dated April 24, hinted of embarking on an indefinite strike action from may 2 to protest the “many years of living and working under horrific conditions in the various state and private mortuaries” across the country.
The release accused the relevant state authorities including Fair Wages and Salaries Commission of foot-dragging in resolving their grievances and so, the decision for the industrial action.
Earlier, the Association went on an indefinite strike action in March this year to press home their demand for better working conditions but suspended it at the plea of the National Labour Commission.
Presiding Member for Agotime-Ziope District, Dodzi Nutor who spoke on behalf of the relatives expressed shock at the development saying that corpses were not food or something like that which could be carried and sent home for preservation.
Mr. Nutor complained that they had a contract with the hospital morgue to keep the bodies till Friday and so to be called on Wednesday for them because of an intended strike action was unacceptable.
The mortuary manager at the hospital and National Vice Chairman of MOWAG, Anthony Amadotor in a response, admitted calling the relatives to come for their bodies.
According to Mr. Amadotor, it had become necessary to alert them so that in the likelihood of an industrial action on Thursday, there would not be any hurdles taking bodies from the morgue on Friday for funeral processes by which time they (mortuary workers) might not be at post.
A mortuary worker who gave his name as Caleb only appealed to government to listen to their concerns and address lack the of maintenance of mortuary facilities, low salaries, lack of protective clothing, among others to prevent similar actions in the future.
Meanwhile, sources Voltaonlinegh spoke to later disclosed that the relatives of the deceased left the mortuary without the bodies and were assured of regular service when they return on Friday for them.