The Slatest

Sierra Leone Ebola Workers Return From Strike as Walkout Is Threatened in Liberia

A treatment center being built in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Photo by Umaru Fofana/Reuters

Ebola-victim burial teams have returned to work in Sierra Leone after walking out to protest low pay, but health workers in neighboring Liberia said they also plan to strike soon if their conditions do not improve. From the Associated Press:

… in a radio interview Wednesday morning, Sierra Leone’s deputy health minister Madina Rahman said the strike had been “resolved.” Later in the day, a team could be seen loading bodies outside a government hospital for burial in the west of Freetown. The team’s leader declined to be interviewed but said members had been promised hazard pay by the end of the day.

Rahman said the dispute centered on a one-week backlog for hazard pay that had been deposited in the bank but was not given to burial teams on time.

The workers in Liberia say they want to be provided with protective equipment and to have their pay increased to $700 a month from an average of approximately $500. This isn’t the first incident of health-professional protest in the outbreak zone: Liberian nurses went on strike last month, as did hospital staff in Sierra Leone.

Read more of Slate’s Ebola coverage.