While government is investigating the fracas between Koidu Holdings and the Affected Property Owners’ Association; the United Mines Workers’ Union has announced the company’s intention to lay off 126 of its staff.
Speaking to the general staff, the secretary general of the Workers’ Union, Ezekiel Diek, said the company’s action would affect not only the employees but “also the dependants who are looking forward to get assistance from them”.
Ezekiel Diek said, “Koidu Holdings is a company that could reason and it has always worked in the interest of its employees”.
He said the company had assured the union that they might reemploy those affected, especially so when the company would have resumed proper business. Mr Diek said though the company was retrenching some staff out of the system, yet reasonable packages had been put in place for them.
“A month’s notice payment, leave entitlement, redundancy payment, and finally a cash payment of salary for the month of February”, Mr Diek disclosed, adding that the package was fat and that affected people needed to be cautious in their spending.
The company’s PRO, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, said, “it is not the wish of the company to lay off workers at this crucial time, when initially it was their dream to employ more workers”.
Mr Kamara said the company’s suspension had long over due and that it would cost them more money if things continued as they were happening now. He said since the company’s operations came to a halt, there wasn’t a month workers did not receive salary including bonuses.
Mr Kamara said the company would therefore stand to lose if they were spending more with nothing coming in return. He therefore advised the workers not to view the company’s action as a witch-hunt.
He however assured the affected workers of the company’s commitment with regards to the payment of their salaries and all other benefits in accordance with the union’s policy. Also present at the meeting was the national chairman of the United Mines Workers’ Union, Abioseh Morison. He said initially, the company had refused to pay workers since there wasn’t much income in the company’s coffers. But that after a rethink they had agreed to do so.
Mr Morison said the company’s move to redundant its staff shouldn’t be a surprise but only that the affected persons should be reduced. By Jon Bu in Kono