28.09.2004 General News

Nurses asked to call off strike

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Koforidua, Sept. 28, GNA - The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has called on members of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) to call off their strike for the sake of the sick and allow on-going negotiations with the government to resolve any grievances.

It, however, called on the government to ensure that a mechanism was put in place for the proactive resolution of genuine demands by workers before the situation got out of hand.

Mr Eben Aidoo, Project Co-ordinator of the GFL made the call in an interview with newsmen at the opening of a five-day planning, monitoring and evaluation seminar for GFL affiliate executives at Koforidua on Monday.

Commenting on the on-going strike action by nurses in the country, he described the action as a violation of the new Labour Act, since it was apparent that it was not called by the national union at a time negotiations were on-going with their employers.

Mr Aidoo appealed to the nurses to call off the strike, since it was posing grave problems to the sick, especially the poor and marginalized, who could not afford to attend private health facilities.

He noted that the new Labour Act, which was supposed to curtail resort to strike without exhausting the grievance procedure, was in its transition period during which workers were still being educated on its provisions before penalties under it could be invoked against breaches.

Earlier addressing the participants, who were drawn from the nine affiliates of the union, Mr Aidoo said the time was due for them to focus on organizing the marginalized workers in the informal sector, who were also contributing much to the national economy to enable them get improved working conditions.

According to him, since the national minimum wage did not cover only public employees, it was incumbent on them, as labour leaders, to organize the unorganized to save them from exploitation by both local and foreign investors.

The Secretary General of the GFL, Mr Abraham Aidoo, urged them to come out with programmes that would make the Union self-sufficient and not be wholly dependent on foreign partners for funding of all their programmes.

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