By Victoria K. Saffa
Some four hundred and fifty (450) workers of the Freetown Waste Management Company (FWMC) have been redundant without being paid their four-month backlog salaries and benefits.
The aggrieved redundant workers told Concord Times that they were given one month extended contract with Masada, who later took over waste management responsibility in Freetown.
According to Mohamed W. Kamara, a former driver at the Waste Management Company, he worked for over six years at the company, only to be told his service was no more needed and laid off without being paid his four months salary arrears plus benefits.
He also accused the FWMC, which was managed by the Freetown City Council, of deducting monies from their monthly salaries as part of their contribution to the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) fund, without paying the monies.
“After they have redundant us, we went to NASSIT to cross check our insurance, but we were told by one of the managers that the Waste Management has not been paying any insurance for us,” he claimed, adding that they have commenced a court action against the municipal council for not paying their NASITT contributions.
He urged the government to intervene in the matter and expedite the process of payment of their backlog salaries and benefits.
Another former FWMC worker, Umaru Kamara, also called on the government to put pressure on the council to pay their benefits and salaries, threatening ‘action’ if their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“If they fail to give us our money we will put on a robust action by closing all dumpsite areas,” he threatened.
Public Relations Officer of the Freetown City Council, Cyril Mattia, confirmed that council owes the workers backlog salaries and benefits, and that efforts are being made to pay the redundant workers.
He however contended that council only owes the affected workers one month salary backlog as they had already been paid two months arrears.