NIA workers declare indefinite strike over working conditions

Workers of the National Identification Authority (NIA) have declared an indefinite strike beginning Monday.

The action is to back their demand for better working conditions. Though they had initially planned to embark on the strike on March 24, that was deferred following the intervention of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

However, with no progress made, the Divisional Executive Council of the union, under the Public Services Workers’ Union (PSWU) of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has unanimously decided to suspend all work following a council meeting held on May 23.

Consequently, the PSWU has announced that all services provided by its members at NIA District offices, regional offices, headquarters and premium centres have been suspended indefinitely until further notice.

Announcing its intention in a statement signed by its Council Secretary, Kwabena Adu Kyeremeh, and Council Chairman, Francis Bangfudeme Nyuzaghi, the union said it was in response to agitation from workers to lay down their tools to draw attention to their persistent calls for an improvement of their working conditions.

Some of the concerns raised included approved allowances outlined in their Conditions of Service which did not reflect on their pay slips. The statement released yesterday said: “the condition for the deferment of the strike action was that the government, represented by the FWSC, and the management of NIA facilitate the negotiation and implementation of better conditions of service for staff of the NIA among others.

“However, the government has not shown good faith in the negotiation process. The Divisional Executive Council has, therefore, resolved to declare this indefinite strike in response to the heightened agitation of our members on the need to embark on an industrial action to drum home our poor and demeaning conditions of service.”

NIA responds
Last March when the NIA staff threatened the strike, the management responded with a statement as to why it was unable to fulfil requests made by staff regarding their Conditions of Service.

In a letter signed on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Prof Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, the NIA described the demands as unrealistic. “Management is not in the position to implement proposals it has submitted to a third party i.e., FWSC, which alone is the statutory body to duly consider and act on the proposals.

“In these circumstances, your demand for the implementation of NIA’s proposals to the FWSC and for same to be reflect in the March 2024 pay slip of staff is unrealistic and cannot be met,” the letter stressed.