Workers at the Health Emergency Operation Centre have decided to go on strike to protest the delays in the payment of their allowances. Although HEOC workers had been promised a frontline allowance by the government, many have not received any payment for months. The HEOC is operated by the Health Protection Agency at Dharubaaruge in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Maldives.
The workers had said that they had repeatedly communicated with the authorities of the HEOC and the Ministry of Health by letters and emails. None of the letters or emails had received a satisfactory response, they said.
The authorities had maintained that the allowance sheets "had issues". According to the workers, the authorities had never specified nor clarified what these issues were.
They said that after a long delay, a fraction of the wages owed had been deposited in their accounts. They said that there was no way to tell how these wages had been calculated by the authorities. The workers say that every HEOC worker's attendance is kept track of by an HR system, and each workers' allowance sheet is submitted separately.
The workers said that given such tracking and such time-keeping, it was unacceptable that the payment of their wages were delayed so much. The workers said that they had filled the allowance sheets several times. The workers had said that although, when they had signed up, they had signed an official document which informed the Ministry of which accounts their wages should be deposited; the Ministry had been "careless" in maintaining this document, and that they had to sign copies of this document several times on separate occasions.
The workers declared that they would strike until the these problems were solved and the wages owed to the workers who were currently employed at, or were formerly employed at, the HEOC were paid fairly.