Ex-Comium workers annoyed with NASSIT, NATCOM & Information Ministry
April 15, 2016 By Victoria Saffa
Former employees of Comium mobile company say they are annoyed with officials at the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), National Telecommunications Communication (NATCOM) and Ministry of Information and Communications for allowing owners of the defunct company to flee the jurisdiction without paying their benefits.
Representatives of the ex-workers addressed a presser yesterday at the Harry Yansaneh Hall, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists headquarters in Freetown.
Reading a position paper on behalf of his colleagues, former secretary-general of Comium Staff Association, Charles Kanu, said the position paper calls on the intervention of the government to ensure benefits were paid to former employees of the company which spectacularly went bankrupt.
Kanu said they have attended many meetings with government officials who have assured them that their interest and benefits would be prioritised in any arrangement NATCOM enters into on behalf of the company.
“As a result of these assurances given to us by our erstwhile directors and some government officials, we had confidence in them as such we conducted ourselves in a decent and respectable manner. It is sad that we have been neglected and disadvantaged and most importantly treated like foreigners in our own country,” he said.
He revealed that some of their colleagues had died while waiting for a peaceful resolution to the industrial impasse, while a good number are still without jobs, languishing in the street, adding that all efforts to follow-up with the leadership of state institutions with direct responsibility for monitoring the issue have yielded no fruit.
According to former president of the association, Abdul Kargbo, it is mandatory on NASSIT to collect contributions from employers in respect of their employees, adding that for over three years when Comium in operations these contributions were not paid to NASSIT despite several follow-ups made by employees to the social trust entity.
Kargbo said that they were disappointed with NATCOM, being the statutory regulatory body for all telecom companies in the company, for having failed to secure their benefits. He concluded by calling on NASSIT to provide all employees with their current contribution status, to help them plan their next line of action.