Toll gate strike action ends peacefully

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July 12, 2018

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

toll
Tollgate at Hastings

The strike action which briefly brought to a halt vehicular movement along the Wellington-Masiaka highway on Monday has been amicably settled with both parties expressing satisfaction, thanks to the intervention of the Labour Minister and other government functionaries.

Hastings Toll Gate Station Agent of the West African Operations and Management Company (WAOMC), Alhaji Kamara, told pressmen that the strike action was unfortunate as there are better ways to have handled issues raised by aggrieved workers.

He said a letter of concern which the aggrieved workers sent to WAOMC was only received through WhatsApp last Friday.

Kamara was on Tuesday responding to questions from the press at his Hastings office where he revealed that, “Salary  for each of the aggrieved workers was Le600,000, but with other benefits including rent, transport, food and medical allowances, they  always receive a gross take home of Le1.2 to Le1.5 million every month.”

He promised that conditions of service for every new contract would be improved as work progresses.

The aggrieved employees had demanded among others things a representation in management meetings and that the company should allow them to sleep overnight while on duty.

During his intervention, Minister of Labour and Employment, Adekunle King, advised the aggrieved workers to spend the day time to rest and be vigilant at night for duty.

The Minister commended the point system initiated by WAOMC as a good system because it motivates employees to work hard.

“The more point you score the more money you make at the end of the day as bonus,” he said.

The tolling system constitutes three shifts of eight hours each and collectors are allowed to eat during their working hours when traffic is less.

“It is an international norm that toll collectors must not carry their phones when they are on duty. From the management side, we hope our staff can respect their duty and understand the nature of the job,” Kamara said.

Meanwhile, the issue has been amicably resolved while leaders of the aggrieved workers have promised to engage in a peaceful dialogue with management whenever issues arise.

Four ministers, including Minister of Internal Affairs Edward Suluku, Minister of Labour Adekunle King, Minister of Transport Kabineh Kallon and Minister of Works Raymond D’souza George were present at the meeting.