February 23, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
President of the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers and General Transport Workers Union, Alpha Amadu Bah, has claimed that over 700 drivers released from prisons through the intervention of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board, were still hanging around the union’s office searching for jobs.
He made the above statement last Friday in an interview with Concord Times at his office, Kissy, east end of Freetown.
The Driver’s Union President said most of the jobless drivers were gainfully employed before being charged to court and subsequently imprisoned.
“They currently earn their living by loading and offloading vehicles in the various parks in Freetown. On a daily basis, they fight over money and they come to my office to resolve their differences. When they were employed, there were no reports of fighting over money to load and offload vehicles,” he said.
He said one of the reasons responsible for the mass sacking of his union members was that there had been no formal arrangement between them and their employers, and that whenever the drivers were arrested for traffic offences, their employers would employ other drivers without consultations.
“The Drivers’ Union is the highest employer in this country but its membership is facing a lot of challenges in discharging their duties. We want to encourage private vehicles owners to come to us if they want a driver. If anything goes wrong, we should be held responsible for any misbehaviour of our membership,” he said.