As a way of ameliorating the condition of services of workers throughout the country, the Sierra Leone Labour Congress has officially launched education and campaign materials to enhance the capacity of members of the congress and to promote the welfare of workers in the country.
The programme which was held at the Mattia conference hall yesterday was officially launched by President Ernest Koroma, who committed himself and the government to reviewing the labour law of Sierra Leone to better the lives of workers and their families.
He said his government is currently reviewing the Industrial Act Factory Act, Workers compensation Act among others which he said would form part of the overall national frame work of national regulation.
He said the Sierra Leone Labour Congress is the oldest in the sub region that has been able to confront the various socio economic and political storms since the colonial era to the attainment of republican status, explaining that the Sierra Leone Labour congress is one of the institutions that suffered adversely in the wake of the decade-long rebel war by retarding its members ability in promoting the welfare of workers and the inability of bargaining power, there by causing workers to be more vulnerable in the hands of employers.
The President stated that, the support of the British Labour Congress to the Sierra Leone Labour Congress was not a surprise to his government as such support is aimed at resuscitating the Labour Congress in Sierra Leone to regain it past glory in handling the affairs of workers and to promote their welfare.
He said government was aware of strengthening the capacity of the members so as to serve as a vibrant pressure group, to improve on the condition of services of workers, families and the community.
He continued that government would continue to uphold tripartite consultation with workers employers and government for meaningful dialogue to improve on the socio economic development of the country.
He said Sierra Leone has ratified 6 conventions out of the 8 conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress said the launching of materials for the education campaign would ensure a massive sensitization drive among members so that workers would know their rights, adding that the effort of the union in participating in policy would be frustrated if the capacities of members are not enhanced.
The drive of the programme he noted was to help alleviate poverty and to improve on the standard of living of workers in Sierra Leone.
He expressed optimism that government would lend support to them in an effort to achieve their objectives.
In his contribution the President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress Mohamed Deen stated that the Labour Congress has been in existence for nearly a decade now to promote unity among workers.
He pleaded with government to encourage active participation in decision making especially women who constitute the most vulnerable in society.
He explained that the obsolete nature of our Labour laws had given more power to employers against their employees.
He concluded that corruption is a deterrent to national development and should therefore be abolished.
The occasion was chaired by lawyer J B Jenkins Johnston who stressed the reformation of the Labour Law.
by Solomon Rogers