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EU China Town Mall Workers in Tamale Protest Over Unfair Wages

The protest this week forms part of strategies of employees to demand clarity and fairness from mall management regarding their remuneration.

Workers at the recently opened EU China Town mall in Tamale have staged a protest against their employers, expressing dissatisfaction with what they describe as unjust wages.

Despite initial promises of a monthly base salary of GH¢700 (52 USD), they allege that deductions reduce their earnings to about GH¢300. According to the workers, the breakdown of the deductions includes GH¢200 for Social Security contributions, GH¢100 for uniforms provided by the mall, and approximately GH¢100 for clocking in and out to urinate and also throw the company’s rubbish away.

The protest this week forms part of strategies of employees to demand clarity and fairness from mall management regarding their remuneration.

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“We knew very well that they were giving us GH¢700 as they said at first. They’re saying that, from the new form, it will be GH¢500. So let’s ask ourselves that if they’re giving us GH¢500 and they deduct GH¢100, it will be left with GH¢400,” the leader of the protesters said.

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The protesters continued to say they were also being deducted for attending nature’s call.

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“See when you come, you clock in. When I’m pressed and I have to go out to urinate, I  have to clock, come back, clock again, and those ones will be deducted from your salary. Even if you pick rubbish and throw it away, you have to clock, and that rubbish is for the company, but it will be deducted from your salary,” she added. “So, at the end of the day, about 100 cedis will be deducted for clocking in and out. It will be left with 300 cedis. 300 cedis can not do me anything. I for instance, I spend on in and out GH¢13, just calculate. Count out my food, count out my water, a month what will be left for me to save?”

The workers also revealed how the employers pressured them to sign a new contract but later rejected it.

“I work at China Town. Initially, as we started the work, they gave us a form to fill out. The details of the form are that we will work 90 days on probation. We agreed and started the work. And the second day we went. Yesterday after work they gave us a form with that contract.  You and I know that if you’re working for a company and they give you a contract, you the employee have to take the form,  go home, and read it very well to understand whether you agree or not. Then when you agree you have a portion to sign and the employer also has a portion to sign. Even the form they gave us they don’t have a portion to sign,” one of the dissatisfied workers said.

He continued: “They’re saying we should add our guarantor’s Ghana card and stuff. And they said that we should sign it immediately and go home and bring other things. You’re forcing me to sign something I’m not aware of or don’t have knowledge about, what if it is my death warrant, or what if it is something else that I have to sign immediately? We don’t do things like that. So we all agreed we wouldn’t sign the form immediately. They said fair enough if you make it stain, meaning you have been sacked.” They said.

The workers are therefore asking leaders in the country and the National Labour Commission to come to their aid.

“We’re not there because our company is nice and we just want to work, no. We work with others to save and further our education others to save and do other things. So please, our big people, our leaders in this country should help us. We’re just begging them. They can’t do this to the workers in Accra,” the leader of the protest said.

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