By Matthew Jabby
Retrenched workers of the defunct Freetown Waste Management Company have called into question Mayor Franklyn Bode Gibson’s integrity after the Freetown City Council (FCC) failed to pay their end of service benefits upon expiration of a twenty-one days notice they had issued.
The services of the workers were terminated when the FCC decided to replace the Freetown Waste Management Company, which was previously in charge of garbage collection in the city, with Masada, a privately owned company.
However, the aggrieved workers say the FCC still owes them backlog salaries, while the status of their social security payments with the state-run NASSIT remains unclear.
According to Maxwell Koroma, a former worker who said he had worked for the defunct Waste Management Company for six years before it folded up, they had written to Mayor Gibson, given him 21 days to speedily address the issue but to no avail. He told Concord Times that now that the 21-day notice has expired they would plan the next line of action to force the Mayor to pay their backlog salaries and benefits.
Koroma also revealed that although the FCC used to deduct NASSIT fees from their salaries, they were not provided with any slip or record of the current status of their contribution to the scheme.
Other workers of the former waste management company expressed similar sentiments and called on the FCC to address their issue with the utmost urgency it deserves because they have families to feed and have been reduced to beggars.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer at the Freetown City Council, Cyril Mattia, denied they owe the workers three months backlog salaries, as according to him, council had paid all but a month of their salaries. He also denied the FCC owes the workers retirement benefits, although conceded they would look into the matter.