The Labour Rights Institute (LRI) has cautioned President John Mahama against its apparent policy of buying time for the doctor’s strike to fail instead of demonstrating good faith in resolving the dispute with the Ghana Medical Association.
The Institute said government’s posture is becoming clearer by the day. It is adopting an approach in its dispute with the doctors by deliberating not showing commitment to resolve it and waiting for the strike to collape from strike-fatigue or crumble under pressure from a hostile public sentiment engineered by propaganda.
“This is dangerous, insensitive and amounts to sacrificing precious lives for political expediency that has its objective of dealing a death blow to agitations from public sector unions.” the LRI observed.
In a statement signed by Mr. Mohammed Affum, Executive Coordinator, the Institute said government’s appeals to the striking doctors to call off the strike while their legitimate demands are not addressed is difficult to understand.
What is more disturbing, the statement said, is the attack on the doctors by government’s communications persons for being callous with some claiming the strike is politically motivated.
According to the LRI, government appears to have been convinced to adopt the uncompromising posture of President Roland Reagan during the air traffic controllers strike in the U.S. 1981 and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Britain in 1984-85 during the coal miners’ strike.
“What the government fails to realize is that the two scenarios and that of Ghana are not the same. There were no life-threatening situations in the two strikes as against the Ghanaian situation where lives are being lost on a daily basis during the doctors’ strike,” the statement added.
The Institute called on civil society organizations to impress on government to fulfill its constitutional, moral and political responsibility of ensuring the well being of the people by committing itself to resolve the dispute with the doctors.