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‘SLPA, NPA stink over payment of benefits’

…blasts Justice Hamilton

July 2, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Presiding judge at the Industrial High Court, Justice Patrick Hamilton, yesterday said in open that he would make bold to say that the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) and the defunct National Power Authority (NPA) ‘stink’ over payment of benefits to workers.

Justice Hamilton was speaking after the class action against Ports Authority, filed by Morlai Conteh and hundreds of former dock workers, was announced by the court’s registrar.

The former workers seek the court’s intervention over non-payment of benefits they say the management of Ports owes them after they were laid-off in December 2011.

The court is hearing a similar matter involving some ex-workers of the defunct NPA.

“I will not be afraid to say that the Sierra Leone Ports Authority and the National Power Authority stink over payment of benefits. I am not serving anybody but God and my conscience. I am really getting tired over these matters,” fumed the judge, who is also one of five judges of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.

Justice Hamilton said he wants an end to both cases which have dragged on for years, as the workers seek their end of service benefits from both state corporate institutions.

It could be recalled that hundreds of workers of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority were made redundant prior to the privatisation of the container handling section to Bollore Africa Logistics in December 2011. The former workers, led by one Morlai Conteh, filed a class action against the SLPA demanding arrears and end of service benefits.

The matter has dragged on since then without an immediate end in sight.

However, a labour officer informed the court he would submit the final calculation of benefits owed to the former dock workers.

Meanwhile, the matter was adjourned until 6 July.