The Sierramin Bauxite Ltd Company in Port Loko District has been accused of not being paying workers for the past nine months and of dismissing a staff without giving him his payment and benefits after working for the company for complete six years.

According to the Staff who was dismissed, Sahr Gbondo, he has worked in the Sierramin Bauxite Ltd Company for six years, starting from 2015- 2021.he had worked for the company peacefully with no problems encountered until this year, when the company started neglecting to pay them their salaries.

He said that anyone that raises the concern of the company’s delay in payment, the person will be suspended or threatened to be sacked, therefore they kept quiet for a while because they were afraid of been sacked, until sometime in late july to early august when all the workers  mustered the courage and Selected six men to represent them.

He continued that they first wrote a letter to the Labor Officer of the north then to the Paramount Chiefs and the honorables of Mafokie and Marampa, to the Head of Police of Port Loko , ONS etc about their plight. These people helped them and organized a meeting with the CEO and other Senior Members of the Company in August 2021, to discuss on the issue and they came to an agreement with the company to pay the workers everything they owe them on the 30th September 2021.

Mr Gbondo furthered that while in the meeting, he stood up and advised the authorities representing them to document whatever agreement made that day and to make sure the person in charge of the company signs it because he is highly political as he is the vice president’s brother. He added that his comment offended them and accused him of inciting the workers to strike.

He continued that, the HR dismissed him because he contacted Sierraloaded to publish a story on the issue in order to force the company to pay them their salaries. He said he had to contact Sierraloaded because he believed that was the only way they could get the moneys they worked hard for.

Mr Gbondo said, after he has worked for the company for six years, they are just dismissing him like that without any payment or benefits for the past six years working for the company, adding that, in the dismissal letter,  they are claiming a section to be article 23.5 which is not part of the CBA.

“People dem sef wae dem dae pay every month dem money nor d do for dem, what about we way dae work for complete nine months den nor pay we. N even no body nor dae kam as management for gi reason for d delay, n way u tok now den day suspend u or den dreb u”. He said.

Sierraloaded reached out to the company and according to the H.R of Sierramin Bauxite Ltd Company, Alimamy Sesay,  Indeed, the company has not been able to pay salaries for some months, some employees abandoned their employment for a considerable number of weeks and days and have their contracts terminated, and one employee was dismissed based on gross misconduct (audios of his conversation with a senior manager, taking responsibility of inciting employees and using derogatory remarks against the CEO and owners of the company was shared, and he accepted being the vocalist on the audio, and records of his subsequent involvements on misconduct being the reasons for the summary dismissal decision).

He continued that dismissed employee has no beneficent entitlements as per labor laws but there are some outstanding salaries to be paid to him. He said, the company has been undergoing a very challenging transition phase after the demise of the previous CEO and owner, adding that all topics related to these challenges resulted in the non payments have been communicated to all.

He said that the company is still committed to paying all outstanding salaries, including the dismissed employee by January 2022. If there is a challenge, it will be communicated as usual. All these issues highlighted are acknowledged by the Ministry of Labor, employment, and Social security and they have been at the forefront of these settlements.