Drivers at Ghana’s seat of government, the Flagstaff House, are threatening to lay down their tools in the coming days if authorities there do not take immediate steps to increase their salaries they described as “slave wage.”
According to them, while there is a general perception that the seat of government is a dignified place and persons working there are living a life of comfort and dignity, “the plight of some of us the drivers is very miserable and pitiable”
A driver at the Flag Staff House, who does not want his name mentioned, told The aL-hAJJ that “can you believe some of us (drivers) here receive a monthly salary as low as GHC200.00…, I know many people will not believe this but that is the reality…yes some of us receive as low as GHC200 as monthly salary, well below the minimum wage approved by government”, he sobbingly stated.
While some of the drivers who are categorized as “VIP drivers” are reported to be receiving as much as three times more than their colleagues at the “big House” earn, the dejected drivers say they have complained several times to authorities about their plight but nothing seems to being done.
“We have time and again complained to the big men here but any time we tell them about our plight all they tell us is that they are working on it…we are running out of patience. We have families to take care of… We can’t feed our families and our children are out of school because we don’t have money to pay their fees.”
“It is disgraceful and disheartening that when almost everybody knows that you work at the Flagstaff House yet you can’t take care of your family, you can’t pay their medical bills and so on…your children are out of school because you can’t afford to pay their fees. My brother it’s really disheartening,” another driver who pleaded anonymity noted.
Officials at the seat of government acknowledged the plight of the drivers when contacted by The aL-hAJJ some weeks back on the plight of the drivers and they promised, the anomaly was being rectified hopefully, before the end of January this year.
A senior official at the seat of government (name withheld) told The aL-hAJJ that all the necessary corrections have been effected and their (drivers) documents have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for approval, assuring that “by the end of January this year they should all get the changes effected”.
However, this paper’s checks at the Flagstaff House revealed nothing has changed as at the time of filling this report.
As a result of the continued worsening conditions of the drivers, and after promises to respond to their needs having failed so far, they have decided to down their tools by next week
“For now we are convinced that the big men are not interested in solving our problem. We are not going to take any promise from them again. By the close of this week, if we don’t see any change then next week we will lay down our tools.”
However, a senior official at the Flag Staff House when contacted again assured that authorities concerned are working assiduously to alleviate the suffering of the drivers, saying “we are not oblivious of their plight.”