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06.04.2006 Regional News

Korle-Bu union to press home demands

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Accra, April 6, GNA - The local branch of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital Finance Business and Services Employee's Union (FBSEU) was on Thursday formed in Accra to help to address numerous problems the workers faced.

The Union, which is an affiliate to the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), seeks to tackle the problems of social security, salary and scaling of workers among other things.

The formation of this Union was decided after a faction of the workers broke away from the Trades Union Congress branch of the Public Health Workers Union (PHWU) of the Hospital with complaints of being intimidated and suppressed.

Seven Executive Members have been elected to lead members in ensuring that their grievances were heard and addressed. Members are mainly health care assistants, orderlies, security and others employed as casual workers for the past nine years. Mr Benjamin Mingle, Acting General Secretary of FBSEU, the mother union, said most of the workers were being intimidated by some staff of local PHWU by restraining them from embarking on any activity in their interest.

He said the members, numbering about 600, were mostly employed as casual workers and those permanently employed had their social security not paid though it was deducted for that purpose. He explained that section of the members after realising the implications of that wrote petitions and organised radio programmes to put their grievances across but "those who led that protest were sacked and are still in the house as we speak".

Mr Mingle noted that Act 651, the new Labour Law stipulated: "Every worker has the right to form or join a trade union of his or her choice for the promotion and protection of the workers economic and social interest."

He cited four workers, who were sacked for demanding for their rights and after the intervention of the Labour Commission, "the victims would be recalled very soon".

Mr Bernard Colley of the Surgical and Theatre Department, who was elected the Chairman of the Union said, the workers had no form of protection in the discharge of their duty and explained that "even at the theatre, we do not have protective clothing and this is dangerous for us because we are exposed to all sources of infections". He, therefore, expressed the hope that with the formation of the Union their grievances would be addressed accordingly. 06 April 06