Medical laboratory workers declare nationwide strike effective June 17

The Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) has announced a nationwide strike, effective June 17, 2024, over the government’s failure to address their concerns.

The strike notice follows unsuccessful negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the Ministry of Finance on May 31, 2024, despite the National Labour Commission’s intervention.

Earlier, the General Secretary of MELPWU, Dr. Cephas Kofi Akortor, expressed frustration over the government’s delay in finalising their ongoing negotiations.

The union later threatened to lay down their tools if their concerns were not addressed immediately.

The leadership of MELPWU, in a statement directed to the National Labour Commission (NLC), FWSC, Ministries of Employment & Labour Relations, Health and Finance on June 3, 2024, announced that their services in public hospitals across the country would not be available from June 17, 2024.

This could adversely affect health care delivery.

The statement, signed by the General Secretary of MELPWU, expressed disappointment at stakeholders, citing “undue delay in concluding negotiations with the union” and “lack of financial clearance for non-mechanised members” as the reasons for the strike.

According to the union, the notice is under Section 159 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).

Justifying their action for the strike, they said, “Without prejudice to the directives given by the National Labour Commission on May 30 2024, we recognise that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and the Ministry of Finance are deliberately frustrating the efforts of a rather peaceful union that is ensuring that Labour-Management relationship does not suffer”.

“To prevent a rather explosive situation that cannot be easily managed by the union, the National Executive Council, at an emergency meeting, approved the demands of membership to proceed on a full-blown industrial strike action effective Monday 17th June 2024 to enable them to press home the needed attention and importance to be given to the concerns of the union.

“Thus, services provided by our members in all medical laboratories, blood banks, pathology laboratories, and selected mortuary facilities will be impacted”.

The Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) includes members of the Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Laboratory Technicians, and Medical Laboratory Assistants who provide laboratory diagnostic services in all clinical laboratories and blood banks under the Ministry of Health and allied agencies, including the Ghana Health Service, and National Blood Service.

Other members are the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), Teaching Hospitals, Health Training Institutions, Ahmadiyya Health Services Ghana and University of Ghana Medical Centre.

It also includes laboratory professionals who provide technical services in Pathology Laboratories and selected mortuary facilities in the country.

Find the full statement below;

Download (PDF, 675KB)

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