Workers at the Salini Construction Company (SALCOST) have accused the management of practicing Colonialism at SALCOST.
The workers told Awoko that there are ‘poor or literally no medical facilities, no Nassit cards, delay of salary, discrimination in treatment between Sierra Leonean and Expatriates, skilled and manual labour, and no advance payment of salaries to the Sierra Leonean labour force at the construction company even in the face of extreme cases.’
Also the workers complained of “going on leave without allowance, the abrupt laying-off of the Sierra Leonean manual and skilled workers, monthly wage-cut from our salaries for welfare, but our welfare is purely in our hands,” a bitter and angry worker outlined.
The workers narrated that there was a sharp line between them and the Expatriates, but that they were more concerned with the rift in treatment between them and the Expatriate workers, whom they said they were equally qualified with.
Salaries are paid late to the Sierra Leonean workers whilst the Expatriate workers receive theirs before them, they related.
That-not-with-standing, the Expatriate workers are paid in Dollars whilst the Sierra Leonean workers are paid in Leones.
An Expatriate fuel officer for example is paid a thousand dollars whilst a compatriot Sierra Leonean receives not above 800,000.
These Expatriate workers are even paid advance salaries and given allowances every mid-month.
Added to these is the untoward development in the distribution of the milk that is to rehydrate the dust that settles on the workers at the quarry section.
The milk, the angry workers revealed there was no more in supply, which is the cause of frequent illness of workers at the section.
Together they explained: “They used to give us three tin milk per day but now everything has stopped.”
They went further to complain that even when sick, their welfare is left entirely in their hands.
One of the workers who has a missing finger sadly explained that he did not attend to even when he had lost it while operating a saw.
Another explained that he had at a time fell from a far position at the Tar Plant but that even when he was admitted at the government hospital he had to foot his medical charges.
The Company’s hospital the workers narrated was almost non-functional, with no availability of medicine, and upon a visit by Awoko the hospital, there was literally no tablets found there.
Also, the boots that the workers wear to work are mostly worn out and they even told Awoko that they ought to be supplied every six months but that their last supply was a year and half back.