Workers of the Youth Employment Scheme in the northern district of Port Loko have demonstrated over the non payment of their salaries for five months now.
They mobilized themselves at the Port Loko Government hospital, obstructed a staff meeting and demanded audience with the district medical officer Dr Matt Lebbie and senior staff. According to a dispatch from our Port Loko correspondent, the striking workers were ushered into the conference room at the hospital, but when they entered they then seized the keys to the door and threatened to keep the staff under arrest until their salaries were paid. A spokesperson for the disgruntled workers referred to their action as “an appropriate approach to break the contract with the employing authorities”.
The demonstrators noted that most of them were breadwinners of their families whom they had failed to serve efficiently during the non-payment period. The aggrieved workers pegged their non-payment to “political wrangling on the part of our employers”— a claim that has been rebuffed by health officials. According to Dr Victor Matt-Lebbie, the scheme was established by the past government in collaboration with the youth and sports and health ministry to address the unemployment issue.He told our correspondent that a total of 84 youths were employed in Port Loko to serve in various capacities. The medico appealed to the workers to exercise patience as the new government was yet to release monies to settle their arrears.