CRSG Flouts Labour Law

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China Railway Seventh Group(CRSG)

By Amin Kef Sesay

From what has been gathered so far in the wake of a sustained and rigorous investigation carried out by this medium,the Chinese Construction Company, China Railway Seventh Group(CRSG) which is implementing the contract of  reconstructing the Wellington- Masiaka highway is blatantly and wickedly refusing  to pay  terminal benefits to about 8 employees that were hitherto occupying strategic positions and subsequently terminated by the company.

Speaking to this Press, the aggrieved workers say that 8 of them have been terminated without tangible reasons given for executing such decision, adding that since their Termination of Service, their benefits have not been paid to them and when they approached the Management of the company to register their plight nothing fruitful came out of it and in fact their concerns have been treated with a pitch of salt.

The workers maintained that some of them had worked with the company for more than 7 years without receiving any modicum of recognition as permanent workers.

That decision of the company, according a seasoned Labour expert, contravenes certain provisions of the Labour law which states that any worker that served an organization/company for more than six months is eligible to be a permanent staff.

It was disclosed by the workers that despite several meetings they had with the company’s management; the latter never made any commitment to pay their terminal benefits adding that “since our redundancy and up to date we haven’t received a dime from the company as our terminal benefits and we have reported the matter to the Labour Congress and they invited the company but they never showed up”.

Gibrilla Kamara, Alhaji Tholley, Amadu Bah and six others, all working as Operators for the China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), have accused the company of giving them unfair treatment in terms of violation of labors laws.

The young men stated that they have worked with the said company for over four years, without any fair treatment.

“We have been working here without gears, we don’t have a fixed salary, they give us what they feel like and when you ask questions they threaten you with sack actions, they don’t pay our National Social Security Trust, they pay us cash at hand, which are all violations of the Labour laws of the Land,” they lamented.

They stated that the company forcefully dismissed them without benefit because, they failed to sign a contract document that was written in Chinese which they do not understand, saying most of them cannot read or write, let alone talk of understanding Chinese.

“We went to the Labour Congress from where their officials engaged them and prevailed on them to pay our benefits, but since then they have refused to pay us,” they expressed dissatisfaction.

They maintained that the situation is becoming very much terrible for them, especially during this COVID-19 period.

Theo Koroma, Founder and Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Heavy Equipment Operators Network (HEON), an organization established to look into the welfare of heavy equipment operators, in stating the plight of the operators said it is very much appalling and called on the Government to come to the aid of the aggrieved workers, because they have made a lot of sacrifices to beauty the nation and contribute to the economic development of the country.

CRSG’s Communications Officer, Kanu, said he is aware that some of the aggrieved workers are his colleagues but could not ascertain whether they have worked for the number of years they are claiming.

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