Approximately close to three hundred and fifty (350) Sierratel workers from the Western area in Freetown, on Thursday 1st December, 2022, stormed the Ministry of Information and Communication during the morning hours for what they described as a delay by the Ministry of Information in not signing their contract documents and withholding it for some months ago.
As they were called upon in the conference room of the ministry of Information by the Director of Information, Emmanuel A.B.Turay, and other officials of the Ministry, the President of the Telecommunication Union and Postal Communication Unit of Sierratel, Augustine Michael Jondie, during their deliberation and exclusive interview said the reasons for mobilization to come to the Ministry on that day was because they had gone for three (3) years now without leave allowance, seven (7) months without salary, no medical allowance and other facilities for them.
Other reasons he presented was that they were informed that Sierratel worker’s contract documents had been approved and signed by the National Commission for Privatization (NCP), Ministry of Finance, and Law Officers department among others and later forwarded to the Information Ministry but yet signature of the Minister.
“Our issues had already been discussed with the authorities since 2020 but they only give us several promises and no Tangible action taken,” he said.
Union President Jondie told Awoko Newspaper that the reason why the delay for the new proposed company to take over yet was because the percentage of 5% or 3% deal for Sentinel tend to be agreed upon was a conflict of interest between the new company (Sentinel) and the Government of Sierra Leone.
He further noted moreover that their situation and livelihood have now been shattered and children who were going to school and other universities, have o finance to take care of them.
Responding to their grievances, officials of the Ministry of Information such as the Director of Information and Communication, Emmanuel A.B. Turay who chaired the meeting called on the Sierratel workers to hold their peace and motions noting that on behalf of the Minister and Ministry, he believed that come from now on to Monday 5th December, 022, they would have communicated to other officials of the Government concern, to take the final resolute affirmation action to their problems.
During the meeting held with them, he asked the heads representing the workers who stormed the Ministry to select a five-man committee among them to later have a close-discussions office.
Other workers during the meeting on Thursday, raised an ultimatum explaining that they have no time to be patient and they will continue to visit the office on and off after work with the MIC officials till the 10th of December, 2022, as the holidays are about to come for all MDAs in the country.
Initially, before the storming of the workers at MIC, one of the workers, said the SLP was informed after they have come to disperse us but they thought we had engaged in violence but met we are peaceful and spoke to them peacefully.