Ninety Eight (98) out of the 112 ex-workers of the Sierra Leone Daily Mail are frustrated and are still waiting in vain for their benefits after their hopes were raised recently by the Minister of Information and Communication.
These workers have waited for a decade and are still waiting for their benefits, which is around Le700million. With disappointments and poverty hitting them hard, 24 have died.
Their hopes were rekindled again when Information and Communications Minister Alhaji I.B Kargbo assured them during the Zain/IMC media awards night that in two weeks time, their benefits would be paid. As the days drew nearer, so were there hopes high but the two weeks has taken over six weeks leaving the ex-workers more frustrated than before.
Speaking to Awoko yesterday at the Daily Mail Building, Suma Ibrahim Demba, Technical Coordinator of the ex-workers said they were at first happy when the Information Minister made the statement about their benefits but the process is very slow.
He said when the executive members visited the Information Minister to know what was wrong with their payments they were told that lack of labour cards was holding up the exercise.
Mr. Demba however said they have secured their labour cards and have done all verifications with the Ministry of Information. He accused the Auditor-General’s office for delaying their payments. “We are under pressure from our membership as their present state is deplorable. If something is not done soon, it will be bad for us”, he said.
By Ishmael Bayoh