The National Power Authority (NPA) Transmission and Distribution office at Falcon Bridge was yesterday literally ‘barraged’ when disgruntled casual workers barricaded the main entrance to the office in protest of not receiving their monthly wages.
In the midst of thunderous shouting by angry protesters, Michael Wallan who identified himself as a casual labourer at the office angrily explained, “we have worked for two months now without receiving any salary…”
He protested “When you request for your salary, … you will be fired by management.” adding “we are not paid on time; we are not paid for over time; we are not given neither medical, nor transport allowance…”
Mr Wallan also explained that some of them have worked as casual labourers for a very long time without even being considered for permanent status.
Electricity lines operator, Idrissa Sesay explained, “I was contracted by NPA after working for two months without salary, management rescinded our contract … we want our money!” he exclaimed furiously
In a more conciliatory mood Mr Sesay told Awoko that they had secretly been informed “that the Moroccan team would be leaving very soon.” Therefore he said “we don’t want them to leave without us receiving our salaries,”
Mr Sesay opined that one of the reasons why the electorate frowned upon the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and voted them out, was because of the irregular or almost defunct electricity situation in the country.
He explained, “as laborers we know what is the actual electricity situation in the country…”
Sesay called on President Koroma to go down and meet them so they can explain to him the actual state of electricity supply alleging that management is not presenting the true picture.
He further alleged that some officials are trying to sabotage the new APC government.
One of the disgruntled workers also alleged that though social security [NASSIT] is being deducted from their wages yet they are not sure whether management actually pays for them.
The head of the Moroccan Team, Fatzur Adile said the allegations made by the laborers are false. He said, “those who were stopped have been paid.”
Falcon Bridge Transmission and Distribution Manager, Alhaji Timbo explained that the payments are being processed.
He said, “the month ends on Sunday and we do not work on Sunday so we decided to process their payment today [Monday].”
The NPA Assistant Administrative manager, Mr Laccoh succeeded in calming down the workers, encouraging them to exercise patience so that documentation regarding their payments is arranged.
NPA Public Relations Officer Mr Wilson Clarke explained that according to labour laws casual workers should not work on a full term basis, “there should be at least a month lapse in between…” he said.
He also emphasized that their salaries are being processed since the month ended on Sunday.
Mr Clark debunked rumours about the Moroccans leaving and fears the workers would not be paid when the Moroccans leave stating “NPA is responsible for the salaries of the workers not the Moroccans.”