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Flouting of labour laws…

P’ment dissatisfied with Total Group & dealers

May 27, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura

Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Industrial Relations yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with Total Group, one of few fuel dealers operating in the country, on issues relating to breach of labour laws.

At a hearing in Parliament, the committee highlighted issues of expatriate workers with less qualification compared to locals who are highly qualified, as well the fact that only two of their twenty-six dealers are in compliance with labour laws in the country.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Dr. Foday Suma, said Total Group of Companies and dealers were in violation of the labour laws of the state as they have not been paying all of their workers the stipulated minimum wage, including employing casual workers for three years without giving them permanent contract.

The committee also observed that Total Group had violated the Business Start-Up Act 2007.

According to Hon. Daniel B. Koroma, section 34(c) of the said Act states that non-citizens can only work in the country after they have applied for work and residential permits at least six months prior to their arrival in the country, adding that both the managing director and marketing manager of Total only applied for permits after they arrived in the country.

He opined that both were in breach of the law, although he failed to indicate whether punitive sanctions will be levied against them.

However, Gwen John, Human Resource and Administrative Manager at Total, said the company was working in line with their internal policy, noting that they only have two expatriates on their staff roll at present.

She acknowledged that the two expatriates have permits, although they obtained them after they arrived in the country

Dealer of Total Congo Cross filling station, Mustapha Kamara, was alleged to be in breach of labour laws by paying casual workers Le350,000 devoid of social security payments.

But he responded that paying minimum wage to casual workers would cost him a lot of expenditure, thus the reason he prefers the services of casual workers.

“I do not have permanent workers because my expenditure is so high and at the end of each month I only have less down Le5 million, which will not be enough to pay all my workers if they are on permanent basis,” he said.

Dealers at Total fuel stations in Brookfields, Makeni, Masiaka and Kono also attended the hearing.

Meanwhile, the committee requested the attendance of the Total Managing Director, managers of Total fuel stations in Magburaka, Aberdeen, Port Loko and Rogbere to be present at today’s hearing at 2pm.

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