Go back to work-NLC  orders striking Medical Laboratory workers 

Story: News Desk 

The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the Medical Laboratory Professional Workers’ Union (MELPWU) to end their strike and return to the negotiation table with the government. 

This directive follows an emergency meeting held on Thursday, June 20 involving representatives from MELPWU, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Finance Ministry, and the Health Ministry, aimed at resolving the ongoing dispute.

The MELPWU initiated their strike on June 17, citing the government’s delay in addressing their conditions of service. The industrial action has significantly impacted public health services, leaving patients stranded and forcing many to seek more expensive laboratory services at private facilities.

Labor consultant, Austin Gamey expressed optimism about the negotiations’ potential outcome, noting that the Commission has mandated continuous meetings until Wednesday, with specific directives for parties to attend with full mandates.

“The Commission says we should be meeting between now [Thursday] and Wednesday, and they made potent directives that the parties should meet with mandates not just coming to meetings… and we believe the Commission’s directive is potent enough to find a solution,” Gamey stated.

He added that he expects the lab workers to resume duties by Monday following productive negotiations.

However, MELPWU’s General Secretary, Cephas Akortor, expressed disappointment with the Commission’s decision.

“We are not very happy because our expectations were not met, but all the same, we are all Ghanaians and would take the advice of the Commission,” he said. 

Mr Akortor emphasised that the strike remains in effect until the National Executive Council makes a final decision.

“We will have engagement with our members, but for now, we cannot say the strike is suspended. It is still ongoing until the determination of the National Executive Council,” he stated.

Mr Akortor also appealed to the public for understanding during this challenging period, acknowledging the dissatisfaction among lab workers regarding the ongoing situation. 

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